WARRIORS captain Masimba Mambare admits his team will be motivated by revenge when they host Zambia in the first leg of the African Nations Championships (Chan) at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
REPORT BY HENRY MHARA
Mambare said the Warriors still feel emotional scars from losing the Cosafa Cup to Chipolopolo in the final of the tournament last month.
The Warriors had also lost 2-0 in an international friendly against the same opposition in April.
Both matches were played in Zambia.
Zimbabwe, 4-1 aggregate winners over Mauritius to advance into the final round of the Chan qualifiers, have a chance to avenge the losses.
“Obviously we are looking forward to redeem our lost pride,” said Mambare after the team’s morning training session at Gwanzura Stadium yesterday.
“We are preparing well for this match and everyone looks motivated to beat Zambia. They have beaten us before, but this is our chance to revenge. Most of the players are happy that we are playing Zambia because they feel that we should have beaten them in Zambia,” added the Highlanders man.
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Despite drawing 1-1 against a battling Mauritius side, Mambare, who was one of the few outstanding players and scored the only goal for the Warriors, thinks the team played well.
He said the only blemish to their performance was lack of goals.
“We had won 3-0 in Mauritius so the supporters were expecting goals galore. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t score, but I think we played well. We knew we had qualified for the next round so our minds naturally relaxed, which would be a different scenario with Zambia. We know exactly what we want to do and I believe in the boys in camp. I have every reason to believe that we will qualify for Chan.”
Mambare, who sat out a training session on Tuesday alongside Devon Chafa, Eric Chipeta and Tendai Ndoro due to knocks, was involved in yesterday’s morning training session. All the players looked in high spirits.
Warriors coach Ian Gorowa has retained the team that played Mauritius with Augustine Mbara the only addition to the squad.
Mbara was initially in the squad in the build up to the Mauritius match before withdrawing following a family bereavement.
The Dynamos left-back was also part of the squad that was at training yesterday.
Dominic Chungwa and Danny Phiri, who could not make the final 18 against Mauritius, have also been recalled into the squad and are fighting for positions. Reports from Zambia yesterday suggested that coach Hervé Renard had also kept the bulk of the team that beat Zimbabwe.
Renard has been forced to drop his midfield ace Mukuka Mulenga, who picked an injury in their last match against Botswana.
The Afcon winning coach has called in Roderick Kabwe and Lubambo Musonda for assessment with the aim of filling the void left by his talisman.
Chipolopolo are expected in Harare on Friday.