THE ZIMBABWE Warriors yesterday set off for the second leg of the Afcon preparations when they flew to Nigeria for their high-profile international match against the Super Eagles at Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba tomorrow.
The Warriors, who had set up base in Durban for the Cosafa Cup, left with 18 players to intensify their preparations for the Nations Cup.
The other four Afcon-bound players remained in South Africa, together with assistant coaches Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa, and will follow on Sunday after playing in the third/fourth place play-off against Lesotho.
China-based forward, Nyasha Mushekwi, is already in Nigeria where he connected directly from his base.
Head coach, Sunday Chidzambwa, who returned home to bury his father linked up with the squad in Johannesburg yesterday.
There were no major surprises among those who made it into the final Afcon squad with the bulk of the players having played in the qualifiers.
There were, however, some new faces with impressive Baroka goalkeeper, Elvis Chipezeze, and Thabani Kamusoko making it into the final team.
However, the duo together with Tafadzwa Kutinyu and Ronald Pfumbidzai will miss the clash against the Super Eagles.
After the Saturday’s friendly match in Asaba, the Warriors will stay in Nigeria until they depart for Egypt for the continental football showpiece.
Meanwhile, the Director of Communications at Nigeria Football Federation, Ademola Olajire, said in a statement on Wednesday that the Zimbabwe team was being expected in Lagos.
He said the team which would later be heading to Asaba was being expected ahead of Saturday’s pre-AFCON international friendly with the Super Eagles.
“The NFF learnt the Zimbabwe delegation will spend Thursday night in Lagos, and take a flight to Asaba on Friday morning.
“On Friday evening, the Warriors will hold their official training session at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, venue of Saturday’s encounter which begins at 6 pm,” the NFF official said.
Zimbabwe will campaign in the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals taking place in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.
They will play alongside host nation Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda in Group A.
On the other hand, Nigeria are the seeded team in Group B which also has Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar.
The Warriors will kick off the tournament against hosts Egypt at the Cairo Stadium on June 21.