By Eddie Chikamhi
Zimbabwe international Denis Dauda says there is no room for slip-ups as the Warriors will be under the spotlight when they begin the defence of their Cosafa Cup title in Durban tomorrow against Comoros.
The Warriors, who had a bye in the preliminary round, commence their campaign at the quarterfinal stage against Indian Ocean islanders, Comoros, in Durban tomorrow.
They have a possible date with the winner between Malawi and Zambia in the semi-finals as they hope for more game time to fine-tune for the Afcon tournament.
Former Soccer Star of the Year Dauda is excited by his inclusion in the squad and is looking forward to a good tournament in South Africa as he hopes to be noticed and get picked for the Afcon duty in Egypt.
“Firstly I want to thank the coach for calling me to the national team. It’s my first time to play at Cosafa and I am looking forward to it.
“I wish to do my best there and possibly get selected for Afcon. My ultimate dream is to be at Afcon, so if I am given the chance at Cosafa I will do my best to show the coach that I deserve the ticket to Egypt.
“But let’s also not forget that Cosafa will be a big task because we want to retain that trophy. So we have to work hard because everyone is looking at us. We are the team to beat. It’s a difficult job but we can achieve it.
“I have seen the players at training, everyone is focused and their minds are open. So for Cosafa we are ready to retain it,” said Dauda.Their opponents Comoros qualified for the quarter-finals of the Cosafa Cup for the first time ever after a 2-1 win over Mauritius at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe, who are using the regional tournament as part of their preparations for the Afcon tournament to take place in Egypt next month, are also chasing for a record seventh Cosafa crown. They won the previous two editions under Sunday Chidzambwa in South Africa.
But the focus will be on the Afcon tournament where they will meet hosts Egypt, Uganda and DR Congo in the group stage.
“There are some big names that we are going to face in Egypt who have the likes of (Mohamed) Salah but it gives confidence to every player to face such opposition.
“In football there are no underdogs because everyone wants to achieve. It’s those so called underdogs that are difficult to beat. So I think we will surprise many teams there,” said Dauda.
The Warriors were expected to be joined by South Africa based quintet of Marshall Munetsi, George Chigova, Khama Billiat, Walter Musona and Teenage Hadebe yesterday.
Zimbabwe Cosafa Squad
Goalkeepers: Edmore Sibanda, Tanunurwa Talbert Shumba, Elvis Chipezeze
Defenders: Dennis Dauda, Lawrence Mhlanga, Jimmy Denis Dzingai, Byron Madzokere, Alec Takunda Mudimu, Teenage Lingani Hadebe, Divine Xolile Lunga, Tapiwa Ronald Pfumbidzai, Tendayi David Darikwa
Midfielders: Marshall Nyasha Munetsi, Marvelous Nakamba, Butholezwe Mzomsuthu Ncube, Tafadzwa Raphael Kutinyu, Ovidy Obvious Karuru, Khama Billiat, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Tafadzwa Paul Rusike, Richard Cuthbert Hachiro, Talent Chawapihwa, Leeroy Mavunga, Knowledge Musona, Thabani Michael Kamusoko
Strikers: Evans Rusike, Walter Tatenda Musona, Philana Tinotenda Kadewere, Knox Mutizwa, Admiral Dalindlela Muskwe. The Chronicle