MOLDOVA-BASED defender Alec Mudimu believes Zimbabwe’s Warriors can go against the grain and qualify for the 2021 AFCON finals.
The Southern African country has been hit hard by Covid-19 restrictions ahead of the Botswana away tie on March 22 and Zambia at home the following week.
Key players Tino Kadewere from Lyon, Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba and Wigan Athletic’s Tendayi Darikwa, among others, are ruled out.
Speaking from his base, where he plays for top side Sheriff Tiraspol, Mudimu said the available players should be able to do the job.
“Playing against Botswana and Zambia will both be tough fixtures, but I believe we can win both games and it’s very achievable for us to qualify,” Mudimu told ZTN.
“Obviously at this moment, it’s very difficult because we have a number of players who cannot make the squad because of the coronavirus restrictions.
“But again, I feel very confident that the national team can qualify because we have more than enough players on the continent and in Europe.”
The gap that could prove difficult to cover is that of Nakamba, and if Marshall Munetsi fails to travel, it could get worse.
Already, Bournemouth fullback Jordan Zemura, who played deep in midfield against Algeria, has also been ruled-out. And in attack, if Khama Billiat is available, his fitness will also be put into question as he has been
sidelined all along.
The good news is that KAS Eupen star and Warriors captain Knowledge Musona is available. Mudimu, who has confirmed his availability, is expected to be a pillar in those two matches.
“I just pray everyone is focused and ready to play,” said Mudimu.
A win against Botswana will ensure that the Warriors book their place in Cameroon, joining Algeria who have already qualified from group H with 11 points.
The Warriors are second in the group with five points, Botswana are third with four points and fourth-placed Zambia have three.