ZIMBABWE IS NOT GOING TO AFCON 2017 TO ADD NUMBERS- MAHACHI
*Caption: Zimbabwe striker Kudakwashe Mahachi in training with the Golden Arrows football club.
Written by: Samkele Sokhela
Zimbabwe’s national soccer team striker Kudakwashe Mahachi believes that being drawn in the same Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2017 group with African football powerhouses gives them motivation, as they plan to cause an upset in next year’s tournament.
The AFCON kick starts next year January and the Warriors are put in Group B with the Top 6 best ranked national teams in Africa; Algeria(ranked no.2), Senegal(5) and Tunisia(6).
The Zimbabwean team goes into the competition as underdogs. However, with the golden generation of Mamelodi Sundown’s Khama Billiat, Knowledge Musona and Orlando Pirates’ Tendai Ndoro, Mahachi believes that they are the one that African teams are supposed to fear.
“We are in a difficult group we know, hence everyone is taking us as underdogs. But we also have good quality players. People must know that we are not going there (Gabon) to add numbers. We are going there to compete,” said Mahachi.
The Warriors Forward expressed that nobody believed in them even during the AFCON qualifiers, but instead they qualified against all odds. Additionally, playing alongside players that are shining in the continent and playing in Europe is an advantage for them.
“The likes of Knowledge (Musona) have a knowledge of playing in bigger stages like Europe. Khama has been outstanding in Africa. So, as national teammates we are learning a lot from them. Having them by our sides is an advantage. They are big players and when you play alongside them you get extra-motivated,” concluded the Golden Arrows striker.
The tournament is scheduled to be the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations and will begin on the 14th of January and end on the 5th February 2017. Libya were the hosting country up until the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rescinded its hosting rights in August 2014 due to ongoing war in the country. The tournament will instead be hosted by Gabon.