Warriors vs. Harambee Stars: Zimbabwe and Kenya Meet in Four Nations Tournament Final

In a rare encounter that hasn’t happened in nearly four decades, the national football teams of Zimbabwe and Kenya are poised to face off in the final of the Four Nations Tournament at Bingu National Stadium in Malawi tonight.

Scheduled to kick off at 5pm, the match follows a preceding bronze match between hosts Malawi and Zambia at 3pm.

The significance of this final is reminiscent of the 1985 CECAFA final, the last cup final where these two teams met. Back then, the Warriors, led by the late Mickey Poole and captained by the late Misheck Chidzambwa, emerged victorious with a 2-0 win over Kenya’s Harambee Stars.

Despite their long-standing rivalry, Zimbabwe has only secured one victory against Kenya in international football, out of a total of 10 encounters since 1982.

Under the interim guidance of coach Norman Mapeza, the Warriors are undergoing a transitional phase, much like their opponents and other tournament participants, Zambia and Malawi. This tournament serves as crucial preparation for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifying matches in June.

After an impressive comeback against Zambia in the semi-finals, where they overturned a two-goal deficit and won on penalties, Mapeza’s side enters the final with a renewed sense of determination. The team’s fighting spirit has been commendable, with players like Macauley Bonne and Walter Musona demonstrating their prowess on the field.

Kenya, led by Turkish coach Engin Firat, presents a formidable challenge for Zimbabwe. Historically, Kenya has enjoyed an upper hand in their clashes, winning five out of 10 encounters. However, Firat acknowledges the resilience of the Zimbabwean team, especially after their remarkable performance against Zambia.

As both teams gear up for this historic final, the match promises to be an intense battle on the field. With FIFA 2026 World Cup qualifiers looming, this tournament offers an invaluable opportunity for teams to fine-tune their strategies and test their mettle against top-tier competition.

For Zimbabwe, a victory in this final could not only secure bragging rights but also improve their world rankings, making this showdown even more significant on the international stage.