NEXT month’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group G qualifier between Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will be played in the evening, with a 7pm kick-off at the National Sports Stadium.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Warriors travel to Kinshasa on October 13, before hosting DRC in Harare three days later in two matches that could well define Zimbabwe’s campaign.
“Evening kick-off for Zimbabwe/DRC Afcon qualifier. The Warriors will host DRC on Tuesday October 16 at 7pm at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
The tie comes three days after the reverse match away in Kinshasa on October 13 at 7pm Central African time,” Zifa announced in a statement yesterday.
Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela said they fixtured the match in the evening “to enable the working class to attend the match and support our Warriors”.
Zimbabwe lead Group G log standings with four points after their 3-0 win over Liberia at home, which they followed with a 1-1 draw away in Congo Brazzaville a fortnight ago.
DRC are second on the standings on point difference after their 3-1 win over Congo, before they were held to a surprise 1-1 draw away in Liberia, making their meeting with Zimbabwe next month a crucial contest.
The team that will come out victorious from this battle is almost assured of qualifying for the Afcon finals to be held in Cameroon next year.
Coach Sunday Chidzambga is well aware of this and will be hoping that some of his key players who missed the team’s trip to Brazzaville through injuries will have recovered by the time they meet DRC, who are expected to field a star-studded squad.
Costa Nhamoinesu, Marvellous Nakamba, Ovidy Karuru and Tino Kadewere did not travel with the rest of of the squad to Brazzaville, but they have all resumed training with their respective clubs and hope is that they would be fit for the two matches.
The coach would also be hoping that British-born duo of Tendayi Darikwa and Adam Chicksen would have their passports sorted by then.
DRC would be boasting of such stars as Cedric Bakambu, one of the top goalscorers in the Chinese Super League, former Chelsea midfielder Gael Kakuta now with La Liga side Rayo Vallecano and FC Porto defender Chancel Mbemba.
Some of their regulars also include Everton’s Yannick Bolasie, Junior Kabananga of Astana and Stoke City forward Benik Afobe.