Pretoria — Golden Arrows winger, Kudakwashe Mahachi says that with the quality players Zimbabwe possess, they have the potential to spring a few surprises at the upcoming Africa Nations Cup (Afcon) in Gabon.
The Warriors’ preparations have been derailed slightly due to monetary disputes that saw them refuse to board a plane on Saturday to Cameroon for a friendly match against the Indomitable Lions.
This followed the team’s refusal to attend a farewell dinner hosted in their honour on Friday, as they continued to haggle over funds.
However, Mahachi, while acknowledging the challenges they face as a team, believes that the quality and understanding they have within the squad stands them in good stead heading into their first Afcon for a decade.
“We’ve got good players from Europe and South Africa and the best players even from local (Zimbabwe’s Premier Soccer League), so I think we’ve got a good squad,” the 23-year-old said.
“We have been playing together since the beginning of the campaign, so we understand each other and we know our strengths and weaknesses. I feel we’ve got a good combination on our side.”
Although preparations have not exactly gone smoothly, Kalisto Pasuwa’s side recently frustrated reigning champions Ivory Coast in a friendly match last month although both sides were understrength.
“Of course, we are underdogs and we’re playing big teams there (at Afcon), but playing Ivory Coast recently in a friendly match helped us a lot. It was good to test ourselves against the so called ‘big nations’ on the African continent,” Mahachi said.
Zimbabwe are in group B, which includes top countries on the continent Algeria, Tunisia and Senegal.
They will begin their campaign against Algeria on Sunday in Franceville.