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THE Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association have challenged the Warriors to give the nation a victory it badly needs to avoid an international football isolation that could stretch for nearly two years. Wellington Mpandare, the ZNSSA spokesman, said they were confident Ian Gorowa and his men will deliver when they face Tanzania in a make-or-break Nations Cup eliminator at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The Warriors trail the Taifa Stars 0-1 from the first leg.

“We are down right now but the good thing is that we are not out and we have another big chance on Sunday to make things right and we urge our boys to seize the moment because if they fail it could have dire consequences on our game,” Mpandare said.

“We are confident that we have the arsenal, in terms of players, to deliver the result that we need to qualify for the next round and we appeal to the fans to help the team in this mission by filling the National Sports Stadium to capacity.

“We need to create an intimidating atmosphere that will make the Taifa Stars really feel away from home and also make our men feel loved so that they can try to go the extra mile and pull off the result that we want.

“We want to thank Zifa for their decision to reduce the entry fees to US$2 for the cheapest tickets and we hope this will help lure thousands of fans to the stadium on Match Day and we will have the right noise that we want for that intimidating atmosphere.”

Mpandare said it was unfortunate that the Warriors, in the past four years, have gone from being a team that had an automatic place in the group stages of the Nations Cup qualifiers into one that now needed to play in preliminaries.

“We have to say that the old Zifa board should take responsibility for the way they reduced our national team from one that had a direct entry into the groups to one that now needs to play in the preliminaries because their focus, throughout the four years, had little to do with aancing the interests of the Warriors but settling grudges and fighting wars,” said Mpandare.

“Now we have a new board and they have to pay the price for those mistakes and we have to say that we have been encouraged by some of the positive things we have seen, in the early part of their tenure of office, and our hopes are that we succeed on Sunday because we could be in for a very long and frustrating time outside international football if things don’t go according to plan.

“Some fans say that Rufaro would have been a better venue for this game because it makes visiting teams feel that they are playing in foreign territory but, with the numbers that we expect for this game, we needed a bigger stadium and it’s our duty to make sure that we turn the National Sports Stadium into a cauldron.” ZNSSA also saluted Gorowa for his decision to give midfielder Willard Katsande another chance.

“It shows that the coach does not hold any grudges which is good and we hope that the return of Katsande will boost the team and we are also happy that we have managed to secure some of our regular national team players,” said Mpandare.

Source : The Herald