The Warriors of Zimbabwe face a stern test Monday when they face Tunisia in a must-win 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group B qualifier in Libreville, Gabon, where a draw or defeat will condemn them to elimination from the football tournament.

After drawing 2-2 with Algeria in their first game on Jan. 15, the Warriors went on to lose 2-0 four days later to top seeds Senegal who have since qualified for the last eight with a game to spare and have amassed six points.

Tunisia are sitting on three points after beating Algeria and a draw with the Warriors – who are currently anchored at the bottom of the log on one point together with Algeria – may see them through to the quarter finals if Algeria draw with Senegal.

An unlikely win by Algeria over Senegal will take their tally to four points, the same with Tunisia if they draw with the Warriors and then the second qualifier in the group will have to be determined by goal difference.

Wins by Algeria and the Warriors will also leave the other qualifying team in the group going through on goal difference, thus the Warriors are not only hoping to win against Tunisia, but also praying that the already qualified Senegal will still field a team that is strong enough to defeat or draw with Algeria.

Although the loss to Senegal left many fans befuddled, there are still some who believe in the miracle that took the Warriors to the finals in Gabon after overcoming various impediments, including shambolic travel arrangements, during the preliminary qualifiers to Malawi, Swaziland and Guinea.

Coach Callisto Pasuwa also believes in his charges and has told local media that “we are still favorites” to proceed to the next round.

The Warriors have been buoyed by news that top marksman Knowledge Musona, who limped off the pitch in the early stages of the match with Algeria with a hamstring injury, has recovered and will feature in Monday’s match.

Captain Willard Katsande told The Herald newspaper that they had recovered from their loss to Senegal and raring to go.

“We went back to the drawing board after that defeat. We have recovered and now we are ready for the fight,” he said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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