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Will Warriors Defeat Nigeria's Super Eagles?


Zimbabwe's dream of the African Nations Championships title might be over but there is still something to play for the Warriors.

The Warriors will Friday fight for a third place berth against the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the Cape Town Stadium hoping to take home a bronze medal after a month's outing that brought them a lot of admirers.

The game has attracted a lot of interest as the Super Eagles and the Warriors have been the most followed teams at the tournament with the Warriors having the biggest number of fans.

Although this is just a third place play off, football analyst Livingstone Banga believes the game will draw more followers than the final which will feature Ghana's Black Stars and the Mediterranean Knights of Libya.

A member of the Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association Admire Chipere agrees with Banga saying if past performances in the tournament are anything to go by then game between the Super Eagles and the Warriors should have been the final of the 2014 African Nations Championships.

Both teams lost out on penalty shootouts having dominated their semi-final matches. The Warriors lost 4-5 to Libya while the Super Eagles were beaten 4-1 by neighbourrs Ghana.

Even former Zimbabwe national soccer team defender Dumisani Mpofu has been open enough saying judging by the performances of both Ghana and Libya in the run up to the final, the final itself is likely to be a damp squib.

The third place play-off features two teams with contrasting backgrounds in the tournament. The Super Eagles have been scoring goals at will and boasts of 14 in five matches of regulation time.

On the other hand, the Warriors have not been finding the target but have had a strong defense which conceded only one goal in 480 minutes of play.

That should set the stage for a potentially explosive encounter in which Chipere thinks the Warriors do not stand a chance against Nigeria's striking power.

Although Dynamos overcame Nigeria's Eagle Cement in the CAF Champions League in 1998, Zimbabwe national teams have not beaten Nigeria in any form of international football be it at senior, junior or women's football in the past 33 years.

But in football, there is always a first time. If the Warriors improve in their shooting, the Nigerians could this time fall.

The Warriors are expected back home Monday morning.
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