THE Warriors will plunge into the latest battle of their bid, to try and qualify for the World Cup for the first time, when they take on Lesotho in Johannesburg this afternoon.

The match starts at 3pm at the Orlando Stadium.

It’s the first match the Warriors will play on the 30th anniversary of the ’94 World Cup, a tournament they came very close to qualify for, during the days of the Dream Team.

That group of Warriors, under the guidance of legendary coach Reinhard Fabisch, fought their way to the final game of the qualifiers, where they faced the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, in a winner-take-all showdown.

Had they won that contest in Yaounde, the Dream Team would have qualified for the ’94 World Cup, which was held in the United States.

However, our boys fell to a controversial 1-3 defeat.

That is now part of our history, the present and the future is what matters now and that responsibility lies in the hands of coach Jairos Tapera and his latest generation of Warriors.

We started well, under the guidance of Baltemar Brito, when we picked two points from our first two matches against Rwanda and Nigeria.

That both matches were played away from our home, just like the match against Lesotho, put into context the courageous way we fought and why we were rewarded with those two points.

That South Africa played the same Rwandan side and lost shows that our boys did well to get the priceless point they picked in Kigali.

We should have won the game against Nigeria, if we had believed, but another point, in a game in which the Super Eagles had to fight back to force the draw, was not a bad return.

The responsibility now lies with Tapera to keep the fire burning and we want to assure him that he has the support of all Zimbabweans, including those who questioned his appointment in the first place.

Right now, it’s not about who we wanted to be in charge of the team but it’s about the national interests, which are represented by a Zimbabwean win.

A Zimbabwean victory is bigger than all the little issues like who should be in charge of the Warriors or who should be his assistants.

That is why we are carrying this message to Tapera and his troops that we are firmly behind you and you should represent your country with pride.

We acknowledge that football has changed all over the world and gone are the days when we would go into a match against Lesotho knowing fully well that we would win.

The Crocodiles have improved and that they could go to Nigeria, and come out with a point in a draw, shows that they have come of age and are a dangerous outfit.

We need to treat them with respect but we should plunge into battle with confidence that we can win this game because that’s what Warriors do.

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