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Afcon 2017: Zimbabwe to face Guinea, Malawi


Likely to lead the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign ... Kalisto Pasuwa

08/04/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
 
Zimbabwe can beat Guinea ... Denver Mukamba
 
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ZIMBABWE have been placed in Group L against Guinea for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers following the draw which was held in Cairo on Wednesday.

The other teams in the same group with the Warriors are Malawi and Swaziland. Group winners and the two best second placed teams will join hosts Gabon at the finals.

Kalisto Pasuwa, who is coaching the Zimbabwe Under-23, is expected to be confirmed as the substantive coach of the Warriors.

He could not be reached for comment on the draw.

However, it appears a fair draw for the Warriors with their biggest hurdle likely to be Guinea.

Zimbabwe have always struggled against the West African side, winning just one of their seven Nations Cup/World Cup encounters.

Midfielder, Denver Mukamba who featured in the last game against Guinea - a 3-0 defeat for the Warriors - said Zimbabwe could yet come good against them.

“Guinea are a very good side,” said Mukamba, who plays for the University of Pretoria in in South Africa.

“But I believe with good preparations it (qualification for the 2017 Nations Cup finals) can be done. 

“They (Guinea) are very dangerous when attacking and they all go out — the midfielders and the strikers — in attack, but their defence is not very solid.


Expected to be one of the key players in 2017 Afcon qualification campaign ... Kuda Mahachi

Malawi too, has given the Warriors problems in the past and should be one of the teams to watch out for.

Mukamba said there was no small team in modern football adding Zimbabwe would need to treat both Malawi and Swaziland with respect.

“It appears a good draw, but these days football is no longer about whether a team is small or big,” said the former Dynamos star.

“You cannot look down upon a team and say it is Swaziland and Malawi. They have become competitive teams. Malawi also have their players playing here (in the South African premiership) and they are good.

“We shouldn’t underrate them. I don’t even know who the (Warriors’) coach is or how our team is likely to be. But, obviously, we would want to play for our national team and I believe that this gives us another chance to prove that we can do well.



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“I believe there are still some very good players in Zimbabwe Premiership and Division One, some good players based in Europe like Knowledge (Musona), Silas (Songani) and Archie (Gutu) and here in South Africa.

“We should be able to qualify because we have the talent in our country.”

Zimbabwe have made it to the African Cup of Nations finals on two occasions in 2004 in Tunisia and 2006 Egypt. But attempts to qualify for the tournament over the past nine years have failed to bear fruit.

FULL DRAW

Group A: Tunisia, Togo, Liberia, Djibouti

Group B: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Central Africa Republic, Madagascar

Group C: Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, South Sudan

Group D: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Botswana, Comoros

Group E: Zambia, Congo, Kenya, Guinea Bissau

Group F: Cape Verde, Morocco, Libya, Sao Tome

Group G: Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Chad

Group H: Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius

Group I: Cote d'Ivoire, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon

Group J: Algeria, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Seychelles

Group K: Senegal, Niger, Namibia, Burundi

Group L: Guinea, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland

Group M: Cameroon, South Africa, Gambia, Mauritania


 
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