Young Warriors, Amaglug-glug battle for Under-23 AFCON place

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Sports Reporter

Harare - Zimbabwe Under-23 coach Tonderai Ndiraya has expressed confidence his team will upstage South Africa in the two-legged Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations final round qualifier whose first instalment takes place at Bidvest Stadium this Friday.

The Under-23 AFCON is scheduled to take place in November in Egypt.

Three of the best finishers at the eight-team biannual contest will qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

But Ndiraya is not looking there as yet as he believes the toughest hurdle for his charges’ march to Tokyo lies in South Africa.

The match was initially in doubt due to security fears due to the ongoing xenophobia in South Africa.

But it has emerged that strict measures have been put in place to ensure the game goes ahead.

Zimbabwe have always struggled to beat South Africa but Ndiraya believes now is the time to put that in the past.

With the return leg scheduled for next week Tuesday, Ndiraya knows he has inadequate time to let his boys recover so he has vowed to implement an attacking approach at Bidvest Stadium.

“Look, we are starting away from home and we won’t have sufficient recovery time. The second leg will be in Zimbabwe three days later so we cannot afford to sleep at the wheel.

“What it means is that just after the match we will be leaving to go back home and start preparations for the next assignment.

“We have the players who are good enough and strong enough to do the job in a short period of time,” said Ndiraya.

“Look, we are very eager and we have the passion to be amongst the elite in Africa and represent Africa at the Olympics but the job at hand at the moment is definitely the most difficult.

“South Africa are a good side. They have been to virtually every demanding competition so in terms of experience they have the advantage. They have a good coach and I was looking at the players they are very good in all aspects of the game. But we are no push overs, we the Young Warriors and we are going all out to prey on them. What we need is a result good enough to carry us to Egypt.”

Zambia will be taking on Congo as the Southern African teams battle to nail a aplace at the continental showpiece.

 

   

 

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