WARRIORS striker Tino Kadewere boosted his confidence after scoring a brace for his French side Lyon on Sunday ahead of his dance in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria on Thursday. Lyon went on to win the match 2-1 over St Ettiene.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The goals brought Kadewere’s tally to three thus far, having scored his first official goal since joining the club after the COVID-19 truncated 2019/2020 season against Strasbourg last month.
The Zimbabwean international appears to have struck good partnership with former Manchester United Dutch winger Mephis Depay who provided the assist against Strasbourg.
The Dutchman was involved again on Sunday in a beautiful three-man training ground free kick routine with Maxwell Cornet picking out Kadewere for the leveller.
Kadewere beat the Saint Ettiene defence to seal the contest.
Although delighted with the goals, the former Harare City striker remained modest, crediting it to team work. He also said they won for the fans.
“I dreamed about this, I’m very happy,” he said.
“The most important thing is to have won, we did that for us and for the fans. They weren’t with us at the stadium but I know they were all in front of the TV… We will take the three points, we will do what it takes to perform well this season. I am not only happy for myself but also for the team… We are a group, everyone deserves to play, I stayed focused because the coach told me I was going to play the free kick we had worked on in training and it worked. It’s a great feeling to win my first derby.”
Kadewere is expected to be the torch bearer in the Warriors attack when they take on the Desert Foxes of Algeria in the Group H showdown on Thursday.
Algeria are the reigning African champions and they top the group after two rounds of matches following a perfect start to the campaign. They outclassed Zambia 5-0 before edging the Zebras of Botswana 1-0.
The Warriors are second in the group with four points following a surprising goalless draw at home against Botswana before edging bitter rivals Zambia 2-1 in their own backyard.
Botswana, who have a single point from the draw against Zimbabwe, are third in the group with Zambia at the foot of the table with no point thus far.
The Warriors are expected to fly out to Algeria today for the first leg on Thursday and the second leg in Harare four days later.
It will be coach Zdravko Logarušić’s first match in charge of the team since he was employed by Zifa early this year.