By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Zimbabwe UK soccer team won the UK-Afcon Cup over the weekend despite the national team’s poor show case over in the tournament in Egypt.
The games were “played during the weekend of 29th June 2019. Powerhouse teams turned up in full force including Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Liberia, Zimbabwe and Cameroon,” Farai Chishaka Mutsunguma the team representative said.
“Zimbabwe in same group as Ghana and Cameroon. One would have assumed no hope for the southerners until the first game was unleashed on Liberia who were not sure what had just hit them,” Chishaka said.
The team emphasised the jubilant mood brought by the win especially after touring Zimbabwe earlier this year.
“By the end of the game ‘Zimbos’ were dancing their way to first AFCON cup in 10 years. Well deserved. This is a treble year which saw first delivery of successful ‘Zimsporas’ tour of motherland (May 2019), Team Zim UK became ‘Inner-city’ Legends champions and finally Team Zim UK became LONDON AFCON 2019 CHAMPIONS. You just couldn’t write such a positive story for ‘Zimsporas’ 2019,” Chishaka said.
It took team work from the Zimbabweans as each game had its own challenges but they managed to endure.
“Prince got them dizzy with his dazzling runs while Cosmas, Arnold, JP and Muzzy and Company soaked kick after kick, push after push and shove after shove. The game was tough but 7:1 didn’t fully reveal the raw ‘Zimbo’ talent on display. The midfield and back 4 stood firm like the walls of Great Zimbabwe,” Mutsunguma said.
Furthermore, “First match Zimbabwe 7 Liberia 1, second match Zimbabwe 4 Ghana 2, third match Zimbabwe 0 Cameroon 2 – rough and nasty game, lots of injuries but the team soldiered on to cup final,” Chishaka added.
“Cup Final match against Nigeria was a thriller, Team Zim UK warriors came out all guns blazing and took the overall confident Nigeria by surprise as the ‘Zimbos’ faced every challenge with retaliatory zest. The massive and dominant Super Eagles came face to face with the fearless Zimbos full of self-belief and style.”
The ball moved like it was being glued from player foot to player foot. The ‘Nagimbes ‘were matched push for push, eye for an eye and tooth for tooth. The southern Africans also known as Los Zimsporas were having none of any of the Warriors brothers’ hesitations and lack of bite.
“The Nigerians tried screaming the place down with their usual ‘uglagla’ and ‘igligli’ , ‘okwokeo’ but the magic was nowhere in sight. With continuous pressing and prodding the ‘Zimbos’ were rewarded with 2 goals which flattened the cocky ‘Nagimbes”
The team urged the home supporters as well as the diaspora support to rally behind them and celebrate the grand occasion.
“The country needs a happy moment and so the win in London deserves a national celebration at home and abroad. Let’s raise a glass to our boys in Diaspora… ‘chigutiro tamba wakaguta’…as we sing ’Tinodhakwa here boys rangu,’’ Chishaka weighed in.
The team urged ZIFA to learn from them and consider selecting some of their players who are equally talented.
“This calls for a review of engagement between ZIFA team selection and the raw talent in Diaspora. ZIMSPORAS are living proof that ‘vana venyu’ are proud of motherland and deserve to be called into the national team setup of U23 and Warriors.”
“It was obvious and remains highly visible that the ZIMSPORAS have something unique which is desperately missing from the Warriors. They are fearless and respect nobody, even the referee got earful of torment, “ Mutsungume added.
The win by team UK-Zim comes at the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s unpopular four nil throbbing at the hands of DRC. The team UK-ZIM’s in partnership with Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) toured the country in May.