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Date: 26 September 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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2014 World Cup fixtures favourable to Warriors

[Posted 22 Nov 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
2014 World Cup fixtures favourable to Warriors

Warriors of Zimbabwe, the country's senior national soccer team, will, according to the fixtures for the 2014 Fifa World Cup African qualifiers, play at home in the opening and closing fixtures in Group G, a situation which could prove favourable to the Southern African nation if proper planning and preparation is done.

Fixtures available on the Fifa website show that Zimbabwe will open their Group G fixtures on the weekend of 1-3 June 2012 with a home date against crack West African side Guinea, who recently qualified for the 2012 AFCON finals at the expense of Nigeria.

Even though the Zimbabwe Football Association has not yet confirmed the venue for this match, judging from the practice in the country, Harare will be the venue. The national association has in the past failed to break with tradition and take national team matches away from the capital.

The match against Guinea will not be an easy though given the pedigree and current form of the West Africans. The Sylie Nationale forced a 2-2 draw against Nigeria on the final day of 2012 Afcon qualifiers in October.

The last two matches between the two sides ended in 0-0 draws in both Harare and Conakry.

Within a week after playing Guinea in Harare, the Warriors will make a short trip to Maputo where they will clash with their Eastern neighbours Mozambique in a Southern Africa derby.

In other words, there only two 2014 World Cup qualifying matches slated for 2012, as teams are expected to be participating in the limited qualifiers for 2013, wghose finals are to be hosted by South Africa using the world class stadia used during the 2010 World Cup. 

Tougher assignments in the 2014 World Cup qualifying group will follow during the weekends of 22-24 March 2013 and 07-09 June 2013 when the Warriors will battle it out with the Pharaohs of Egypt in back to back fixtures. Zimbabwe will travel to Cairo first before hosting Egypt three months later.

A week later in June 2013, the Warriors will travel to Conakry for a tough return fixture with Guinea (on the weekend of 14-16 June).

Zimbabwe will then wrap up the World Cup qualifiers with a  home tie against Mozambique, predictably at Harare's Rufaro Stadium or National Sports Stadium on the weekend of 06-08 September 2013.

The open secret of topping a group in qualifiers of the World Cup nature is to win all home matches and fight for a draw or a rare victory on the road.

If ZIFA plan strategically, by doing the groundwork in terms of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of opponents, identifying problem areas within the Warriors team availing necessary resources to the coaches to fix the problem areas through friendly matches at home and away in North Africa or West Africa, then there is no reason why Zimbabwe should not progress from Group G.

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