HARARE - The Zimbabwe national team is hoping to avoid stepping on a banana skin in the form of Comoros in today’s African Nations Championship (Chan) preliminary round qualifier at Rufaro Stadium.
After having qualified for the previous three edition of the tournament, the Warriors are seeking a fourth appearance at the tournament reserved for locally based players.
The Warriors, who finished fourth at the last edition of the tournament held in South Africa last year, however, cannot underestimate the Indian Ocean islanders.
Zimbabwe’s preparations for today’s qualifier have already been second rate with the team only beginning training on Thursday.
Warriors goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva has warned his teammates against underrating Comoros as they mighty spring a surprise.
“We need to put maximum effort for us to get victory despite our preparations, we don’t need to underestimate Comoros,” Mukuruva told the Daily News on Sunday.
“We need to put all the problems aside and focus on playing football and with the right attitude we are going to register a positive result
“We are not going to underrate our opponents, the good thing we are not under any pressure, what we need is to make the nation proud.
Mukuruva, who put an impressive performance on his Warriors debut against Malawi last weekend, believes the current youthful squad will bring back the old good days for Zimbabwean football.
“In Malawi it was my first match with the Warriors so my target was to show the nation that I am capable of doing duty for the nation,” he said.
“I am confident that the current squad has a bright future if look the squad comprise of many young players which is good for the future of our country.”
Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa also warned his charges to guard against complacency.
“That’s one team I am afraid of especially in this kind of situation,” he said.“Everybody is saying we are going to win. And we have also been pulling out results without even training and in this one everybody thinks it’s a walkover.
“But the truth is we need to pull up our socks. Remember what happened when we played Mauritius the last time. They came here and we drew when everyone was expecting an outright win.
“So it’s one area we need to work on to psyche up the boys to ensure we win on Sunday.”
Comoros come into this match at the back of a 2-0 loss to Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou in 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers last weekend.
The Indian Ocean islanders are ranked 190 while Zimbabwe are postion 109 on the world rankings but coach Comoros coach Abderemane Ahmed warned Zimbabwe against underestimating them.
“We know Zimbabwe is a very strong team with a lot of experience but we will try our best to get a good result,” Ahmed said.
“The mistake that Zimbabwe can’t afford to make is to think they are so big that they have probably won the tie even before a ball is kicked, we will go into the field to win the game,” he added.