BY KEVIN MAPASURE IN BAFASSOUM, CAMEROON
The Warriors are begging supporters not to abandon them as they try to pick up the pieces of their failed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
Zimbabwe, who have been eliminated from the competition following two defeats to Senegal and Malawi, take on Guinea in their final Group B match in Yaoundé tomorrow.
Whatever result they get against Guinea, they will finish bottom of the pool.
Guinea and Senegal have four points each, while Malawi have one less.
Zimbabwe can finish tied with Malawi at three points if they beat Guinea and Malawi lose to Senegal.
The head-to-head result is used as a tie breaker.
After their first training session post-Malawi defeat on Friday, England-based Jordan Zemura admitted that recovering from the disappointment of being eliminated so early would be difficult, adding that the team would work hard to restore pride.
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“We are very disappointed to have come out with nothing from the two matches, everyone saw the way we played against Senegal, we conceded in the last minute of the game and against Malawi we created so many chances. I think we need to improve on conversion, we create six chances and score one, that’s not good enough,” Zemura said.
“In the Guinea game, something has to come out of it, everyone at home has been supporting us and we have to give them something back to celebrate. All I can say to the supporters is we are out of the tournament, but stick with us I am sure we will celebrate in the future.”
Zemura missed the match against Senegal due to COVID-19 protocols.
He was a second half substitute in the Malawi game, but with the team trailing 2-1 he failed to ignite a comeback.
He is likely to start in the game against Guinea tomorrow.
Alec Mudimu, who has not kicked a ball at the finals so far, yesterday missed training due to illness.
Ishamel Wadi, who scored against Malawi is struggling with an ankle injury and is a major doubt for the Guinea contest.
He also sat out training and by yesterday evening, the medical team was still waiting for scan results.
Coach Norman Mapeza could choose to give a run to players that have not played so far.
With the team needing to restore some semblance of pride, he could go with his best team.
Defender Gerald Takwara said the team was in the right frame of mind ahead of the Guinea match despite the disappointment.
“We were obviously disappointed, we are trying to get over it and approach the next match with a positive mind. We are just saying we have an important match we just have to go out there and give it our all.”
- Follow Kevin on Twitter @kevinmapasure