The Herald (Harare)

13 October 2012

Zimbabwe/Angola: Malajila Calls for Teamwork

Photo: Confederation of African Football.
Zimbabwean international midfielder and Captain Esrom Nyandoro promised that the team Battle Like Real Warriors.

WARRIORS' striker, Cuthbert Malajila, has called for teamwork as Zimbabwe plunge into battle against Angola tomorrow in the decisive leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Luanda.

Zimbabwe will be out to build on the 3-1 advantage they posted in the first leg at Rufaro last month courtesy of a brace by Ajax Cape Town livewire Khama Billiat and midfielder Archford Gutu.

Malajila, one of the six players that were added to the squad after getting clearance from the Asiagate suspensions, expressed his confidence in the current crop of the Warriors to take the nation to the Promised Land.

The Maritzburg United forward said coach Rahman Gumbo and his charges have made full use of the time they had together since they began training early this week.

The Warriors, who missed the last three editions of the tournament, are on the verge of securing their ticket to the finals to be hosted by neighbours South Africa next year if they manage to hold Angola.

The team appears better prepared this time with huge incentives also lined up by the Mzansi 90 marketing committee to ensure they succeed.

"We have been working hard as from Tuesday and I think these guys are raring to go. As it stands Zimbabwe have greater chances of going to South Africa than Angola. We are only 90 minutes away from qualification," said Malajila.

"So, we have to work hard as a team to get the results. Everyone knows what we are aiming for. We always think positively.

"We know we want a win, which means an outright win or a draw. We can't go there thinking about losing. We are focused to get a positive result."

A win in Angola would make the qualification even sweet while a draw will be enough to take us through.

Zimbabwe can also pull through if they go down 1-0 or lose by a scoring margin of not more than two goals.

Malajila believes Zimbabwe can still complete a double over their regional opponents if they play their cards well.

"There is no big team in Africa these days. As Zimbabwe, we are proud of our game, we are proud of who we are and we know where we want to go. Our main focus is South Africa.

"So we are looking forward to a positive result. We have about 31 players in camp who are in high spirits and it's up to the coaches to select the best team for the game," said Malajila.

However Zimbabwe would need to be strong in all departments to match their opponents.

Malajila said an early goal for the Warriors might be enough to release the pressure and turn the tide against the hosts.

"The guys who played in the first leg did a very good job. It was wonderful and honestly you can't blame the team for conceding that goal at home.

"Football is a pressure game and I think it will not be easy again in Angola. Those selected to play should just build on the result from the first leg. I believe we have a good team," said Malajila.

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