By Tadious Manyepo
Warriors forward, Tino Kadewere, says they need to take their chances when they take on African champions Algeria in a 2021 AFCON qualifier at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
The match gets underway at 3pm.
The Zimbabweans lost the reverse fixture 1-3 at the 5 July Stadium in Algiers last Thursday night.
The result left the Warriors in an awkward position, going into the fourth round of the qualifying fixtures in Group H, with third-placed Zambia now within striking range.
Kadewere missed two good chances on Thursday last week before finally getting a consolation for the visitors in a match played at a very high tempo.
But, the Olympique Lyon star reckons it wasn’t his day and has since set his sights on helping the team clear the tough hurdle erected by the Desert Foxes this afternoon.
“Football is about learning from your mistakes. We made some mistakes, as players, in the first leg against Algeria in Algiers last week,” said Kadewere.
“We picked a lot of lessons from that defeat in Algiers.
“With a little bit of luck, we should have won the game or, at least, forced a draw.
“But that’s it, we don’t live in the past.”
He said his teammates, who have been in confined in a bio-bubble at their hotel since their return from Algeria on Friday night, were showing a lot of enthusiasm at training and he believes they will win today’s game.
“As players, we are ready for the second leg right in our backyard,’’ he said.
“We rarely lose AFCON qualifiers at the National Sports Stadium.
“Algeria are a great team with top, top players but believe, me, we gonna go hard on them.
“We missed opportunities, a lot of them, when we played away but that won’t happen here.
“Hopefully, we will rectify our mistakes, going into this crunch tie, it’s all systems go. I am ready and all the players are ready to roar.
“We respect our opponents, for who they are, but we are not looking much into the past. This is a new game, in a new environment.
“We are ready to pounce on them. What is more important is to take every chance that comes our way.”
While Kadewere is talking tough, newboy Jordan Zemura is praying hard for a win to give him a special birthday present.
The Bournemouth fullback celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday night and, while his teammates joined him to mark his special day, he has demanded just one thing from them — a win over Algeria.
Zemura started the match against Algeria in Algiers, where he made his senior debut.
The fearless defender, who has just broken into the Bournemouth first team, showed some fine touches and played with the spirit of a veteran.
Although he was replaced by Kuda Mahachi, deep into the second half, Zemura had done enough to please coach Zdravko Logarusic.
“He is a fine youngster with a very big heart. His quality is unquestionable and the passion he has shown is top class,” said the Croat tactician.
“If you have players like him in the team, you are assured of competition.
“His technique, and tactical play, is up there, he is very intelligent too.”
And Zemura is praying the Warriors give him a win today.
“I am happy to have clocked 21 years. It’s always a good feeling but a win, over Algeria, will really be good,’’ he said.
“My teammates have all celebrated with me but I have only one message for them all. Let’s win this match and I will be satisfied.
“Algeria are definitely a good team but we have quality in our team as well.
“We played with a lot of determination and matched them in their backyard. Now we are playing at home and we should stand a good chance.”
Loga has since hinted that he would make some changes to the squad which started in Algeria.
“That’s a coach’s decision. I am ready if I am asked to start and I will be okay to start on the bench as well. What is important is for us to get a win, whoever plays.”
Algeria top Group H standings, with nine points, while Zimbabwe are second on four points, after three round of fixtures.
Zambia, who face Botswana in the second of their back-to-back ties in Gaborone today, are third with three points to their name while Botswana anchor the log with a single point.
Two teams from each group qualify for the AFCON finals which have been moved by a year to 2022 in Cameroon due to Covid-19. The Herald