Â THE Zimbabwe Warriors will clash with the Brave Warriors of Namibia, at Rufaro stadium, this afternoon (Sunday 8 June) for the 2010 World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
Captained by England-based, Benjani Mwaruwari, the national team held continental Group 2 favorites, Guinea to a goalless draw in Conakry, last Sunday.
Namibia will present a tough challenge to Zimbabwe, with their win against Kenya last week a moral booster.
Before the Guinea/Kenya encounter, yesterday, the Brave Warriors were leading the pack on the group log standings with three points, Zimbabwe and Guinea trail behind with a point apiece as Kenya made the tail.
The crucial away draw of the Warriors is enough to boost their confidence in today’s encounter as they continue their hunt for a place to make their first ever appearance at the international football showdown set for South Africa as well as a third time participation at the AFCON, to be held in Angola.
The closest they came in Word Cup qualifiers was for the 1994 edition held in Germany. The Warriors managed to knock out Egypt by holding the Pharaohs to a goalless draw in France after FIFA had ordered an earlier match to be replayed.
In the next round, they were grouped with Cameroon and Guinea. Zimbabwe managed to beat the Indomitable Lions in Harare and the local football fans began dreaming of making it all the way to the United States.
An emotional 3-1 defeat in the last group game in Cameroon thwarted the dream and ever since the Warriors have been striving to leave a mark.
The 2010 showpiece will be the last World Cup for most of the warriors if they are to qualify. Skipper, Mwaruwari, Esrom Nyandoro, Harlington Shereni will be among the veteran players who may have a taste of their first and last global tournament.
Thousands of soccer fans are expected to suffocate the football stadium in Mbare, as the Warriors get the honour of feeling the new artificial turf after several months of closure as the authorities prepared the stadium for the global extravaganza.
Regional basketball tourney roars into life
THE long awaited Zone VI Federation of International Basketball Association Under-18 Championships will explode into life in Harare tomorrow.
The tournament, initially set to feature ten countries, has been reduced to a tri-nations series following a boycott of other regional countries under unclear circumstances.
Mozambique, Angola and the hosts will race for honours in the five-day tournament.
These are the events we never experienced at our early ages playing basketball and we want to make sure the youngsters get as much exposure as possible. The Zone Six Championships will stimulate our junior development and it is also gives us a challenge to sharpen our administrative skills, Basketball Union of Zimbabwe president, Addison Chiware was quoted in April when his Union won the bid to host the ten countries.
It appears the local teams will not be gaining much-needed exposure as anticipated, but they stand a good chance of qualifying for the African Champions, to be held later this year.
The ultimate winner of the round robin series will represent the zone in the continental showdown as the event serves as a qualifier.
Angola boys have automatically qualified by virtue of being the defending champions.
Countries from Zone V, which include Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, DR Congo, Seychelles, Djibouti and Egypt, will meet in Kampala, Uganda, for their regional showpiece set for 19 June.
From Zone II, Mali and Guinea (women) will see their way into the 10th edition of the African U18 Championships, to be held in Tunis, Tunisia from 2-10 October while Mali and Senegal will represent zone II in the men’s showpiece set for Cairo, Egypt, on 16-25 June.
ÂPost published in: Zimbabwe Sports News