Mahachi backs national team to cause few upsets

Golden Arrows winger Kudakwashe Mahachi says that with the quality players Zimbabwe possess they have the potential to spring a few surprises at the upcoming Africa Nations Cup in Gabon.

Kudakwashe Mahachi of Zimbabwe during the 2014 CAF African Nations Championships 3rd/4th playoff between Zimbabwe and Nigeria at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town on 1 February 2014 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

The Warriors’ preparations have been derailed slightly due to monetary disputes that saw them refuse to board a plane to Cameroon on Saturday for a friendly match against the Indomitable Lions.

This followed the team’s refusal to attend a farewell dinner hosted in their honour on Friday as they continued to haggle over funds.

However, Mahachi, whilst acknowledging the challenges they face as a team, believes that the quality and understanding they have within the squad stands them in good stead heading into their first Afcon for a decade.

“We’ve got good players from Europe and South Africa and the best players even from the local (Zimbabwe’s Premier Soccer) league, so I think we’ve got a good squad,” said the 23-year-old.

“We have been playing together since the beginning of the campaign so we understand each other and we know our strengths and weaknesses. I feel we’ve got a good combination on our side.”

Although preparations have not exactly gone smoothly, Callisto Pasuwa’s side recently frustrated reigning champions Cote d’Ivoire in a friendly match last month although both sides were under strength.

“Of course we are underdogs and we’re playing big teams there [at Afcon] but playing Cote d’Ivoire recently in a friendly match helped us a lot. It was good to test ourselves against the so-called ‘big nations’ on the African continent,” Mahachi said.

Zimbabwe are in group B which includes top countries on the continent Algeria, Tunisia and Senegal. They will begin their campaign against Algeria on Sunday in Franceville.The Chronicle