Warriors To Know AFCON Opponents
The Warriors will know their opponents for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals when the draw takes place at the Yaoundé Conference Centre, in Cameroon on Tuesday evening.
Team manager Wellington Mpandare arrived in Cameroon on Saturday for the draw and was set to be joined by Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Felton Kamambo on Sunday.
Speaking to Standardsport from Yaoundé on Saturday, Mpandare said they were hoping to avoid the hosts in the group stages. He said:
Our only hope is that we avoid the hosts so we are fine to draw every other team.
It’s always tricky playing against the hosts in the group stages because they will be at home and have the fans behind them.
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Remember the last time we were drawn against hosts Egypt and we lost to them not because they were a better side, but simply because they were playing at home.
Every other team we have a good chance of beating them because we will be playing in a neutral venue.
Mpandare insisted that the fact that the Warriors drew against AFCON champions Algeria back in November shows the strength of the team. He said:
In the qualification stages, we managed to draw against champions Algeria and I reckon if we play them in a neutral venue it can go either way. One thing for sure is that we have a very strong team.
The Warriors qualified for a fifth AFCON appearance after finishing second in Group G behind defending champions Algeria in a group that also comprised neighbours Botswana and Zambia.
Zimbabwe are in Pot 3 of the draw according to the FIFA international rankings and will get a chance to draw one weaker team in Pot 4 which comprises Malawi, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Comoros, Ethiopia and the Gambia.