The Zimbabwe national soccer team is optimistic of posting a positive result despite the absence of some players such as Knowledge Musona and Onismor Bhasera, who are out of this weekendâ€™s tie due to injuries.
In top gear and raring to go, Warriors players went through their paces at the National Sports Stadiumâ€™s B arena under the watchful eye of head coach, Norman Mapeza, who closely monitored from the sidelines ahead of the naming of a final 18 man squad set to travel to Mali on Wednesday.
Apart from Vusa Nyoni, who was expected to jet into the country on Tuesday afternoon and Bhekimpilo Ncube who failed to turn up for camp, the Warriors looked in good shape with the likes of Kharma Billiart and Denver Mukamba out to make an impression on the international scene.
Warriors Assistant Coach, Joey Antipas was in a positive mood.
â€œDespite losing star players such as Knowledge Musona and Onismor Bhasera due to injuries, we are confident that we can upstage Mali in their own backyard,â€ he said.
The Eagles [Mali] boast of several European based players such as Juventas midfielder, Mohammed Sissoko, Real Madridâ€™s Mamadou Diarra and a large proportion of the team turning out for French teams.Â
Despite the stiff opposition, Zimbabweâ€™s Warriors will be looking up to the likes of Nyasha Mushekwi, Ovidy Karuru, Edward Sadomba and Justice Majabvi among others to contain the West African giants in their own backyard, a feat last achieved when Sunday Chidzamwaâ€™s class of 2003 held the Malians to a nil all draw following a 1-nil victory on home soil.