CHAN: Is this the year of the Warriors?

The Warriors have been one of the giants in the regional Cosafa tournaments both at senior and junior national team level.

Ian Gorowa
Ian Gorowa

However, that dominance is yet to be seen at the broader Afcon and African Nations Championships, where Zimbabwe have been booted out in the first round twice in each competition.

Against that background, The Warriors face up with Morocco in their first match of the 2014 CHAN finals hoping to set a pace that will culminate in them lifting the tournament, or at least progressing to the next round for the first time since the biennial competition was launched in 2009.

It will not be an easy walk for Ian Gorowa and his soldiers in a Group B that also includes Burkina Faso and Uganda, but solace comes from the fact that all teams will be fielding their local-based stars.

Judging by the performance of their national teams and clubs in international competitions, Morocco pose the biggest threat to Zimbabwe, as they have the bulk of their national teams playing in their local league.

Their clubs, like Raja Casablanca, FUS Rabat, Wydad Casablanca and FAR Rabat have also done tremendously well in CAF club competitions. This means they go into this competition as favourites to proceed from the group.

With Ian Gorowa and his seemingly strong squad, Zimbabwe are not far behind and are capable of causing an upset and emerging winners of the group, but that hinges on how they perform against the Atlas Lions in their opening fixture at Cape Town’s Athlone Stadium on Sunday evening.

With the best three goalkeepers in the Castle PSL, talented defenders like Oscar Macapa and Partson Jaure, a midfield that boasts the services of Masimba Mambare, Peter Moyo and Kuda Mahachi and a lethal strike force of Simba Sithole and Nelson Maziwisa, Gorowa could not have selected a better side for the tournament.

After their meeting with Morocco, Zimbabwe play Uganda four days later and close their group calendar against Burkina Faso on January 20 at the same venue.

This competition should also give Gorowa a chance to see what he has at his disposal before he goes on to blend the local-based players with his foreign legion, as he attempts to qualify for the 2015 Afcon finals.

Post published in: Football
  1. Marko Mayenzanise
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