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Date: 22 March 2019

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Zimbabwe in tough World Cup 2014 group

[Posted 31 Jul 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Zimbabwe in tough World Cup 2014 group

FIFA conducted draws for all the soccer playing confederations in Rio de Janeiro last night, and in the CAF draw for the World Cup 2014, Zimbabwe's Warriors drew, again drew six time African champions Egypt and again not for the first time, Guinea.

For the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers, teams will be paired in the preliminary groups of four teams each, and in the case of Africa, it will 10 groups, with the 10 winners paired into twos, battling it out for automatic qualification on a home and away basis.

Drawn in the African Zone's Group H, Zimbabwe was the first to be pulled out of the hat from Port 3, followed by Guinea from Port 2, then Egypt from Port 1. The three fairly strong opponents will be joined by the winner of a play-off between Comoros and Mozambique, who could not qualify for an automatic place in the 10 groups of preliminaries.

Zimbabwe will probably hope that neighbours Mozambique will emerge winners to cut down on travelling costs in the qualifiers.

The draw is not one of the favourable draws that Zimbabwe might have hoped for, but this is it! If you want a dance with the best in the world, you have to beat the best and prove your mettle.

The Warriors have no choice, they have to rise to the occasion and be counted.

Statistics might show that Egypt have won the AFCON final six times and have been to the World Cup finals a number of times, or that out of the the six meetings in the past, Egypt has won four times, with the Warriors winning once and drawing once.

The figures are true, but the Warriors need to draw strength from the realisation that the times when Zim beat the Pharaohs at home, and forcing a draw in France in a re-arranged encounter following violence in a match which the hosts had won in Cairo, the Warriors went on to qualify for the final play-off at the expense of Egypt.

Egypt are not at their best at the moment, which can make them very dangerous, but vulnerable too. South Africa's Bafana Bafana beat them 1-0 at home, and forced a 0-0 draw away in Cairo.

The Warriors are currently on the rise, having jumped a massive 40 places on the FIFA rankings over the past two releases.

There is reason for the Zimbabweans to believe that they can repeat or even better the achievements of the DREAM Team and the teams which qualified for the AFCON finals in 2004 and 2006.

BUT, no victory will come from wishful thinking or having a good dream. ZIFA needs to build on the momentum of the victory over Mali at home, and continue arranging for friendly matches just like what will happen on 10 August against Zambia.

Zimbabwe has fairly good players are beginning to receive invitations to attend trials with European teams while some are playing for strong teams on the continent. 

The country already has Knowledge Musona in one of the best soccer leagues in Europe, the Germany Bundesliga where he joined Hoffenheim recently. Ovidy Karuru is with US Bolougne in France. Quincy Antipas is in Denmark's topflight soccer. Musa Mguni is in Russia with Terek Grozny, while Vusa Nyoni and Honour Gombami are in Belgium's Jupiler League. 

Noel Kaseke is in the relatively competitive Cypriot league.  

Abbas Amidu and Archieford Gutu are trying to win contracts in Sweden, while Matthew Rusike was recently invited by Bolton Wanderers to train with them in view of a potential contract with the English Barclays Premier Soccer League club.

The bulk of the Warriors players are playing for top African clubs. Edward Sadomba is currently the leading goal scorer in the highly competitive CAF Champions league, where he has already scored 6 goals since the competition began.

Sadomba scored three goals in African giants Al Hilal's away 2-2 draw at Enyimba in Nigeria, where he bagged a brace, while the Warriors striker scored a goal in Al Hilal's 1-0 victory over Raja Cassablanca.

In South Africa, two leading strikers finished last season as two top goal scorers in the local league. Musona,now with Hoffenheim in Germany won Golden Boot with 15 goals, while his Warriors strike-mate Nyasha Mushekwi was second with 14 goals. 

With adequate preparations, the Warriors should be able to match Egypt or Guinea or even do better.

World Cup 2014 draw for the CAF region

Group A: South Africa, Botswana, Central African Republic, Somalia or Ethiopia
Group B: Tunisia, Cape Verde Islands, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea or Madagascar
Group C: Cote d'Ivoire, Morocco, Gambia, Chad or Tanzania
Group D: Ghana, Zambia, Sudan, Lesotho or Burundi
Group E: Burkina Faso, Gabon, Niger, Sao Tome e Principe or Congo
Group F: Nigeria, Malawi, Seychelles or Kenya, Djibouti or Namibia
Group G: Egypt, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Comoros or Mozambique
Group H: Algeria, Mali, Benin, Eritrea or Rwanda
Group I: Cameroon, Libya, Guinea-Bissau or Togo, Swaziland or Congo DR
Group J: Senegal, Uganda, Angola, Mauritius or Liberia



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