AFCON Finals: Warriors first XI vs Senegal

AFCON Finals: Warriors first XI vs Senegal. The Warriors XI for the 2021Afcon Group B encounter against Senegal has been confirmed. AFTER all the boardroom squabbles that threatened Zimbabwe’s participation at this year’s edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals that kicked off in Yaoundé yesterday, the Warriors will begin yet another campaign when they face off with Senegal in their opening Group B match, hoping to cruise to the group stage.

Kick-off is 3pm Zimbabwe time at the Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium.

The Warriors risked missing out on the tournament in Cameroon after Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) threatened to ban Zimbabwe if the elected Zifa executive committee failed to regain control of the sport from the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) by January 3.

This did not happen, but Zimbabwe has been allowed to participate. Warriors coach Norman Mapeza said his side was not affected by the off-field sideshows and was looking forward to seeing his boys cause a major upset against the Lions of Terranga.

Speaking after the team’s final preparation at the match venue yesterday, Mapeza said: “We are done with our final preparation. We were working on the set pieces. We have been doing a lot of analysis on the Senegal team and I’m more than happy with what I have seen. The guys are raring to go. It’s all about mental strengths and that is what I have been telling the boys.”

On paper, Senegal are favourites to win, not this match, but the tournament. But Mapeza believes reputation counts for nothing.

“Senegal is one of the top-ranked teams in Africa but if we are going to go out there with that in mind, then it will be a wrong mindset. It’s a game of football, so like I said we just have to go out there with a positive mind that we can match them. Any result in football is achievable, so we have to go with the right mindset and a positive mind.”

The Senegalese camp has been hit with COVID-19 and injuries. Only 16 players took part in their final preparation for this afternoon’s match.

The runners-up at the 2019 edition of the tournament will be without Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly after both players tested positive for coronavirus yesterday.

Warriors Line Up

Striker Famara Diedhiou has also gone into isolation.

Kick-off is at 3 pm CAT (Zim/SA).

Warriors XI: P. Mhari, T. Chimwemwe, O. Bhasera, G. Takwara, T. Hadebe, K. Madzongwe, I. Wadi, K. Benyu, K. Musona (c), B. Kangwa, P. Dube.

Source – Soccer24

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