Tadious Manyepo and Blessing Malinganiza in KIGALI, Rwanda
WARRIORS fans, led by Yadah FC owner Prophet Walter Magaya have called on the Zimbabqe national team to keep the eyes on the ball when they face Nigeria in a 2026 World Cup qualifier at Huye Stadium in Butare, Rwanda Sunday afternoon.
The match kicks off at 3pm.
Zimbabwe are the home team after they decided to remain in Rwanda following their goalless draw in the opening game against Rwanda last Wednesday.
There is no approved stadium in Zimbabwe to host an international match and this is the first time that the Warriors have had to play a home game on foreign soil.
And the fans who failed to travel to Rwanda have assured the Warriors of their full support with Prophet Magaya saying Zimbabwe have a chance not only to beat Nigeria this afternoon but to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.
“I wish the Warriors of Zimbabwe the best when they take on Nigeria today,” said Magaya.
“We have been in Rwanda for almost a week and we have acclimatised well. We played at the astro turf at Huye Stadium against Rwanda and it was difficult. But I believe we are now a bit used to it. Nigeria failed to beat Lesotho and we surely stand a very good chance against them.
“As I have always said, I feel this is our biggest opportunity to qualify for the World Cup. We just need to be focused, pick the points from these early rounds and remain grounded”.
Magaya, who is building a stadium that meets CAF standards, said the Warriors will not play another home match on foreign soil after Sunday’s encounter.
Cheerleader Chris “Romario” Musekiwa said the fans would have loved to be in Butare but the Warriors should know that everyone is behind them.
“We were supposed to have travelled to Butare but that doesn’t mean we are not there. The Warriors should know that we are fully behind the cause and they should play well against Nigeria,” said Musekiwa.
“Nigeria have dominated us before but we have a chance against them. We should go for the three points”.
Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association chairperson Chama Mushamaenza said the new-look Warriors can be the next generation to bring back the good old days.
“We have a new look team that is capable of beating anyone in the continent including Nigeria,” said Mushamaenza.
“Today’s match is a must win. We need to take the initiative early in this campaign by beating Nigeria”.
The Warriors are in good spirits ahead of the tie against Nigeria with all but one available for selection.
Only striker Admiral Muskwe is unavailable after he suffered a muscle sprain the match against Rwanda from which he had to hobble out in the first half.
Udinese star Jordan Zemura has reassured the fans that the team will throw everything in the game against Nigeria to get a result.