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Warriors Tipped to Beat Lybia in Africa Tourney

  • Michael Kariati

Zimbabwe's Warriors find themselves on the wrong side of the coin ahead of their African Nations Championships semi-final tie against Libya on Wednesday.

For the first time since the African Nations Championships started on January 11, the Warriors are being tipped as favourites when they face Libya in the semi-finals of the tournament at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Against Morocco, Uganda and Burkina Faso in the group stages, the Warriors were the underdogs. Against Mali in the quarter finals they were not even given a chance. But after a good run, the Warriors now find themselves being tipped as favourites.

This is the first time that the Warriors and Libya are meeting in any competitive match since Zimbabwe was admitted to international sport in 1980. But former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza thinks the Warriors will win the two teams' first meeting and reach the final.

Even football analyst and former Young Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare has no doubts that the Warriors will overcome Libya and sail through to the final and probably win the tournament.

The Warriors have conceded only one goal in 360 minutes and their once blunt striking force is beginning to come to the party as the tournament wears on.

The Zimbabweans go into the match following a memorable 2-1 win over Gabon. Libya on their part had to labour to a 4-2 penalty shootout win over a Gabon side that the Warriors beat 2-0 in an international friendly just before the start of the 16-team competition.

But that should not make Libya an easy opposition. The game in that country has grown in leaps and bounds and the fact that they have reached this stage of the competition, shows that they will not be easy pickings.

Zimbabwe coach Ian Gorowa is happy with his team's performance so far and is convinced that having gone this far, the Warriors will not let it slip through their fingers.

But whatever happens now, the Warriors have done more than what was expected of them.