By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE international defender, Tendayi Darikwa has challenged his teammates to be more clinical in front of goal, ahead of their crucial Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final Group A match against Democratic Republic of Congo, at the 30 June Stadium in Cairo on Sunday.
Darikwa has been a key member in the Warriors squad after playing the full 90 minutes in their 1-0 loss against hosts Egypt at the Cairo International Stadium on June 21 and the subsequent one-all draw with Uganda at the same venue on Wednesday.
The 27 year-old Nottingham Forrest defender, is expected to yet again feature in the Warriors’ final group match against Democratic Republic of Congo, where a victory will see them etching their names in the history books as the first Zimbabwe side to go past the group stages of the Afcon finals.
However, Darikwa believes in order for team to achieve their objective, they need to be more prolific after wasting several chances in the tournament and managing to score only one goal thus far.
“It’s clear to see that we need to score more goals, from the amount of chances that we’ve created in both matches we’ve scored only one goal that’s the major disappointing thing but the main thing is to be positive and look forward to the game against DRC,” Darikwa told NewZimbabwe.com in an exclusive interview ahead of the match.
“I’m sure if we keep the same level of performance from the previous game against Uganda, we’re going to score more goals and get the three points that we need to qualify for the second round,” he said.
The England-born defender said he was relishing the experience of playing in his first Afcon tournament despite reports of a standoff between the players and the local football governing body Zifa over outstanding allowances.
Darikwa however played down the significance of the standoff and said everyone was focused on the game against DR Congo.
“It’s been a very good experience for myself, the Afcon is a massive tournament, it’s an honor and a privilege to here. Results haven’t gone as planned but we’re still in with a chance of qualification which is the important thing I suppose.
“The team spirit is high everyone is fine, we are here to play football, I’m not going to comment on internal matters regarding Zifa and things like that. Our job as footballers is just to play football and we are here to do that. Like I said we have very big game against DRC on Sunday and I am sure we will be ready,” he said.
Darikwa is expected to retain his place at the right side of the Warriors defence amid strong indications that head coach Sunday Chidzambwa is expected to keep faith in the side which did duty against Uganda.
Left back Devine Lunga, who was impressive in the first two matches however misses out due to a knee injury which will see him being replaced by former CAPS United star Ronald Pfumbidzai.
Belgium-based midfield kingpin Marvelous Nakamba is a major doubt after missing the last game due to a hip injury.