By Sports Reporter
WARRIORS striker Prince Dube enhanced his reputation as one of Zimbabwe’s brightest football prospects after finishing at the top of the scoring charts in qualifiers for next year’s African Nations Championships (CHAN) which ended on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Highlanders forward scored five goals in the CHAN qualifiers to inspire the Warriors to qualification for the continental championships reserved for locally based players next year. The tournament will be hosted by Cameroon.
Dube gave Zimbabwe an ideal start in the qualifiers after scoring a hat trick against Mauritius in the second leg of the first round of the CHAN qualifiers at Barbourfields Stadium in August.
Zimbabwe won the match against the Indian Ocean islanders with a convincing 7-1 aggregate scoreline.
Dube continued with his scoring form in Warriors colours by netting a brace against Lesotho in the first leg of the final qualifying round to take his tally in the qualifiers to five goals.
The former SuperSport United star finished one goal ahead of Ugandan forward Patrick Kaddu, who recently completed a move to Moroccan side Renaissance Sportive Berkane from KCCA Football Club.
Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Joël Beya, Pedro Oba from Equatorial Guinea, Hlompho Kalake (Lesotho), Moussa Koné (Mali)
Namibia’s Elmo Kambindu, Anice Badri from Tunisia and Zambia Emmanuel Chabula finished tied for third on three goals each.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe confirmed their place in next year’s CHAN finals after beating Lesotho 3-1 on aggregate.
After winning the first leg 3-1 at home, the Joey Antipas-coached side settled for a goalless draw against hosts Lesotho in Maseru to confirm their place at next year’s tournament.
The Warriors have now qualified for five of the last six editions of the CHAN tournament.
The Warriors played at the inaugural CHAN finals held in Cote d’lvoire in 2009 and then in Sudan in 2011.
They also qualified for the 2014 edition in South Africa where they secured a commendable fourth place finish.
Zimbabwe’s last CHAN finals appearance was in 2016 in Rwanda where they failed to get past the group stage after finishing bottom of their group which included neighbours Zambia, Mali and Uganda.
Qualified teams for Cameroon 2020:
Cameroon (hosts), Tanzania, Uganda, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Namibia, Togo (debut), Morocco, Zimbabwe, DR Congo, Congo Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, Mali.