The Warriors’ have good prospects for success in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), 2019 edition currently underway in Cairo, Egypt, fans have said.

Warriors, who never reached past group stages in their previous showings after have had been placed in what came to be known as ‘group of death’ are set to go further, if their performance in their opening match is anything to go by.

The Zimbabwean national team, lived up to their nickname ‘Warriors’ in their opening match losing 1 bill to the hosts ‘the Pharaohs’ at the continent’s second largest stadium after FNB of South Africa, Cairo International stadium on Friday.

Their chances which are seemingly bright, hinges on their stead, but solid defence that managed to contain the marauding Egyptian forwards, and also keep one of Africa’s best footballer of the moment, Mohammed Salah at bay, and an unyielding, resolute, and steadfast midfield, this saw them lose by a small margin.

Zimbabwe also has predators within its fold namely, skipper Knowledge Musona, ‘the smiling assassin’ whose moves and composure easily follows another great skipper before him, ‘Nsukuzonke, the flying Elephant,’ Peter Ndlovu. Complimented by the current warrior of the moment, Khama Billiat whose whizzardly unpredictable moves on the pitch has made him a darling for many.

The Warriors who played more as a unit, as opposed to banking on individual brilliance, face the ‘Cranes’ of Uganda who have just produced an early Afcon shock beating the Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 in Cairo on Saturday.

Since their debut in 2004, the Warriors have never been a group that had been as easy as the current one, on paper to say. In their first appearance, they were placed in a group, which comprised of Cameroon, Egypt, and Algeria, all football powerhouses.

In 2006 they played in another ‘group of death’ with Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria at group stages, again full of football powerhouses. In 2017, they faced a similar mountain to conquer namely, Tunisia, Algeria, and Senegal.

In this year’s edition currently underway, the Warriors face Egypt, the host who narrowly beat them by a goal to nil in the match that opened the tournament. Zimbabwe’s second game will be against Uganda this Wednesday, and will wind up their group match encounters with a day against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 30 June 2019, a team they beat on the road to Egypt.

Meanwhile, the recent showing by the Warriors in the opening match, has left Zimbabweans talking, the fans believe their team will get past the group stages. As we countdown to the Warriors’ next match set for Wednesday, this publication went around the streets of Harare, to get the people’s views on the opening game, what they think going forward, and general mood going into the next game against the Cranes of Uganda.

Conrad Dewah (33) had this to say; “The Warriors played well against Egypt, we had a chance to salvage a point, I think the coach Sunday Chidzambwa could have made his substitutions early in the second half, at least ten minutes after the breather.”

Another fan who was once a football trainer at a local high school in the capital, Tinotenda Chirimba agrees that the team could have drawn had the substitutions been made a bit earlier.

“Once one is trailing especially by a goal to nil, the best defence is to attack. Chidzambwa had equally good arsenal on his bench. He should have brought in Talent Chawapiwa early, on one wing, complimenting Khama on the other and drawn  Musona into the centre just behind the strikers, Tino Kadewere, Evans Rusike or any other at his disposal,” he said.