Intriguing regional soccer duel ….as neighbours Botswana, Zambia and Zim seek AFCON ticket

news-image

By Tadious Manyepo 

Harare - As the road to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations begins across the continent, one group is particularly interesting.

Neighbours Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana are all battling for the sole ticket for the bi-annual fiesta to be staged in Cameroon in a pool that also has defending champions Algeria. 

This is the first time that the three neighbours find themselves having to face each other at once in an AFCON qualifier. 

Zimbabwe play Botswana at the National Sports Stadium on Friday with both sides speaking highly ahead of what promises to be a bumper encounter in Zimbabwe's capital. 

Zambia will be out against the Desert Foxes in a simultaneous tie which kicks off at 6pm.

The fact that just four days later, Zimbabwe makes the 450 km to Lusaka for a date against Chipolopolo at the National Heroes Stadium makes the matrix even more intriguing. 

On that very day, the Zebras will be hosting Algeria in Gaborone. 

Zimbabwe are banking on Aston Villa star midfielder Marvellous Nakamba for inspiration. 

Zimbabwe coach Joey Antipas predicted a tough ride in the two matches. 

"Look, this is a very tough ride we are staring at. Botswana have improved a lot. Zambia are former African champions. And we are facing both in a space of three days. I know it is going to be very tough for us," said Antipas. 

"Look, we have to take one game at a time. Botswana is our immediate concern. They have a very good squad in all departments. They are particularly dangerous when they are attacking. Defensively, they are also very much up to date. We have to be ready, technically, technically and mentally in this match. Mind you this is our first game in the AFCON qualifiers. We need to be very much in it and win for us to broaden our chances. We need to win the Botswana tie at all costs."

He said the game against Zambia on Tuesday will be one of the most highly charged. 

"I normally want to talk of the game that we have immediately, that is against Botswana, but well, the match against Zambia is sure to produce fireworks. I am sure Zambia will come to a standstill on Tuesday as we renew our cross-Zambezi rivalry." 

Zimbabwe had hoped to rope in England based star Macauley Bonne who got his national documents last week but they will have to wait a bit longer as he is out with an illness. 

France based striker Tino Kadewere is also out with an injury but captain Knowledge Musona is back in the fold after missing out on the 2022 World Cup preliminary against Somalia in September due to poor form. 

 

 

 

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Comments

image

Poachers have broken into Botswana’s p Read more...

10 Aug, 2018 at 01:58 PM

image

In a sign that Botswana is likely to cli Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 09:26 AM

image

DAR ES SALAAM - DIRECTIVES on online for Read more...

02 Jul, 2018 at 01:24 PM

image

Gaborone - Poachers have broken into Bot Read more...

04 Feb, 2019 at 07:35 AM

image

SADC leaders meeting in Tanzania this we Read more...

19 Aug, 2019 at 01:51 PM

image

Indications that vast amounts of money l Read more...

11 Dec, 2019 at 08:47 AM

image

Windhoek - Namibian President Hage Geing Read more...

06 Dec, 2019 at 12:53 PM

image

The new wind of change blowing across Af Read more...

06 Dec, 2019 at 12:50 PM

image

Mashudu Netsianda Elections held in Na Read more...

06 Dec, 2019 at 12:48 PM

image

The prompt arrest and initial court appe Read more...

06 Dec, 2019 at 12:43 PM

image

Windhoek - Tanzania has been outperformi Read more...

24 Sep, 2018 at 09:29 AM

image

Johannesburg - The year ahead will be ke Read more...

28 Jan, 2019 at 09:44 AM

image

Lusaka - Amid myriad criticisms from soc Read more...

14 Dec, 2018 at 06:28 AM

image

The travelling exhibition “Usakos – Read more...

20 May, 2019 at 02:21 PM

image

Heads of state and ministers who travell Read more...

30 Jul, 2018 at 02:01 PM