By Tadious Manyepo
Warriors coach Sunday “Mhofu’’ Chidzambwa is aware of the threat Congo will pose, in their backyard, and believes his men have a tough fight on their hands in an Afcon qualifier at the Alphonse Massamba Debat in Brazzaville on Sunday.
Zimbabwe lead Group G standings on goal difference after they walloped Liberia 3-0 at the National Sports Stadium in June last year.
The Democratic Republic of Congo are second following their 3-1 win over Congo in Kinshasa over the same weekend.
With the top two teams from each of the seven Caf qualifying groups set to book berths at the 2019 Afcon finals for Cameroon, Zimbabwe will do themselves a huge favour if they overcome the tough Congolese in their backyard.
But, Chidzambwa, a veteran of such contests, believes they will have to fight long and hard.
“Losing their first match is something else. What we know is we are going to face a very good side which we cannot afford to take lightly,” said Chidzambwa.
“They are a top-ranked team and highly rated in Africa so it’s definitely not going to be easy for us.’’
The team has been buoyed by the return to fitness of poster-boy and Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat.
“Obviously he will start on Sunday given that he has been cleared by our medical team. We are quite pleased with the situation,” said Chidzambwa.
“In modern football, we have to defend and attack but we have to do that cautiously. We know very well that we will be playing away from home.
‘’We need not open the game.’’
The veteran gaffer said his team should play for points, especially away from home, if they are to make it to the 2019 finals.
“I think in the Afcon qualifiers, a team should pick points, especially away from home. I think if we can pick maximum points on Sunday, I will be very pleased for I know we would have taken a huge step towards qualification.
“As a coach, you would want to win each and every game that you play but you know in football, you win, draw or lose.
“The players are raring to go and morale in the camp is very high. We had quite a good training week. It is my hope that we will deliver the goods for the country.
“The players have trained together for days and I hope they have gelled, especially given that they are professionals who are active in their different leagues.
“I am quite impressed by the way everything went on. Of course, we would have loved to have everyone we had called for camp but we will work with those who are available.’’ The Chronicle