By LAWRENCE TRUSIDA, Sports Editor
The Warriors will be looking to defy the odds and open their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a victory against Senegal when the two teams clash this Monday at Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam, Cameroon.
On the other hand, Senegal go in search of continental supremacy and will be looking to make a statement of intent in their opening fixture.
The two sides are on the opposite end of world football, the Warriors haven’t picked up a victory in their last six encounters, while Senegal won five of their last six matches.
The two team have clashed nine times, with Senegal slightly edging the Warriors after notching five victories to the Warriors’ four.
Zimbabwe will be missing Jordan Zemura who is still isolating while Senegal will miss six players including Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Captain Kalidou Koulibaly, among others.
Although Senegal is the highest ranked African nation while the Warriors languish on the other end of the rankings, Warriors coach Norman Mapeza has called for a mental approach to the clash.
“We have done our training now we are emphasising on the mental approach, psychological aspect of it we are talking to the players to play the game on the field not on paper,” Mapeza said.
Warriors’ players have heeded the rallying call.
Said captain Knowledge Musona: “We are ready to do the nation proud. Go Warriors Go!”
“It’s our time – we can do it. Go Warriors go!” chanted striker Tino Kadewere.
Even the fans who are going to Cameroon to support the boys, are optimistic.
The battle lines are drawn. Can the Warriors slay the Teranga Lions??