BY HENRY MHARA
The Young Warriors will be aiming to follow on the footsteps of their seniors’ success when they take on Mozambique in the African Under-23 Nations Cup first round second leg match at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
The Tonderai Ndiraya-coached side managed a goalless draw away in Maputo on Friday and will need to win today to secure a passage to the final qualifier where they will face either South Africa or Angola to determine who progresses to the tournament in Egypt this November.
Team captain Prince Dube said they were motivated to win and qualify for the finals, to follow in the footsteps of the senior national team which booked a ticket to the Africa Cup of Nations finals after thumping Congo Brazzaville at the weekend.
The Young Warriors were part of the capacity crowd at the giant stadium that watched the Warriors dispatch a battling Congo Brazzaville to qualify for the Afcon tournament, also set for Egypt this June.
Speaking after the team’s final training session yesterday, Dube said they were ready for the battle.
“We saw what the senior team did, and now it’s our turn to keep our fans happy. Their victory was more than a confidence booster, and we would want to keep the momentum going. My wish would be to see those fans coming again to watch us. If they do that, it would be easier for us,” Dube said.
The Highlanders forward wants his team to go for a straight win. A goalless draw will send the match into a penalty shoot-out while a scoring draw will put Mozambique through on an away goal’s rule.
“We are gunning for a win. We are playing at home, so we will not give them respect. I know it’s not going to be easy, but playing in front of our supporters will obviously motivate us. We can’t play for a draw because if we draw 0-0 we will go to penalties, and it will be difficult for us. We should go out there and express ourselves. Like I said, we are playing at home and there is no reason for the players to hide. We have to show them what we are capable of doing. Mozambique is a good team, but they did what they could when they played at home. Now it’s our turn to show them because now we are at home. I don’t think they will play as well as they did in the first leg. So we will try to win this match by all means.”