FORMER Zimbabwe Warriors star striker Benjamin Mwaruwari has revealed that he has divided loyalty between his land of birth Zimbabwe and his country of origin Malawi as the two nations battle it out on Friday in the Afcon.
At half-time in the Afcon Group B crucial encounter, Zimbabwe and Malawi were 1 – 1.
Zimbabwe was the first to draw blood when Ishmael Wadi lurched onto a cross from midfielder Onismor Bhasera to head the ball home in the 39th minute.
However, Bhasera turned villain when, four minutes later, a defensive error of his saw Malawi pulling back a shock equalizer.
Both teams cannot afford to lose if they are to stand a chance of progressing in the competition, and Mwaruwari, who is the SuperSport pundit for the 2021 Cameroon Afcon game, said during the match that he doesn’t know which team to support between the Flames and the Warriors.
“The game between Malawi and Zimbabwe is a tricky one on Friday because I am from Malawi and I played for Zimbabwe. My parents are from Malawi, but I was born in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Asked if it was not better that he should go for Zimbabwe since he played for the Warriors, the soft-spoken star did not change his stance, insisting that his loyalty was divided.
Neither the Warriors nor the Flames have made it beyond the group stages before, with Malawi failing in two previous attempts (1984 and 2010) and Zimbabwe on four occasions (2004, 2006, 2017, 2019).
This will be the 13th meeting between the two nations. The Flames have come out on top just twice compared to seven victories for the Warriors, tipping the scales in tonight’s clash in favour of Mapeza’s troops.
Their last clash was in the COSAFA Cup last year which finished in a 2-2 draw.
Ealier in the afternoon, Senegal and Guinea drew 0-0 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group B match at the Kouekong Stadium in Cameroon.
As a result, Guinea and Senegal remained at the top and second respectively on the group standings – level on points with the two teams scheduled to play their last group games on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe, on the basement with 0 points just like Malawi, have a chance to get close to the group leaders if they pick maximum points tonight.
Here is the Zimbabwe Warriors starting XI:
- Petros Mhari,
- Takudzwa Chimwemwe,
- Teenage Hadebe,
- Gerald Takwara,
- Bruce Kangwa,
- Onismor Bhasera,
- Kelvin Madzongwe,
- Ishmael Wadi,
- Knowledge Musona,
- Kundai Benyu,
- Tino Kadewere.