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.
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