Zimbabwe midfielder talks about their chances in AFCON
The Warriors were drawn in Group A alongside hosts Egypt, DR Congo, and Uganda. Their opening game will be against Egypt on June 21, before facing Uganda and DR Congo on June 26 and June 30 respectively.
Despite being in a difficult group, Orlando Pirates’ Kudawkwashe Mahachi believes his country can compete and reach the later stages of the tournament.
“It’s our second time (in a row) qualifying to the AFCON finals and that means we have a strong and competitive team. Though we are going into the AFCON finals as underdogs, we will fight like Warriors to go through to the knockout stages. We have many calling us underdogs,” Mahachi said.
“Even the Ugandan coach has written us off. He said we are going to be the whipping boys of the group, but such words won’t deter us from fighting for our country. We will show them that we are competitive as they are.”
The 25-year-old also acknowledged Liverpool star and Egypt international Mohamed Salah’s quality but said they wont be focusing just on him when facing the Pharaohs.
“Mo Salah is a good and quality player, who is expected to do well in the finals, but as we face them, we won’t focus on an individual. Football is a game of teamwork and I guarantee that we will match every player there.
“As much as we are playing against the favourites Egypt, who will also be backed by their home support, we will match them. In our camp, we have many experienced and good players like our captain Knowledge Musona, who can match up with such players as Salah. As a team, we need to go through the group stages, but we won’t put ourselves under pressure to do so.
“I have always wanted to come up with such a foundation and help the community, so I found it proper to start with the elderly here, where I grew up. I feel happy about what I did today. I am looking forward to doing more community work with the foundation, all thanks to the almighty God,” he concluded.
Zimbabwe will face Nigeria in a friendly on June 8, and will take part in the COSAFA Cup on June 1, starting from the quarterfinal stage.
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