Warriors and Leopards in do-or-die clash

Warriors and Leopards in do-or-die clash
Khama Billiat celebrates goal Ovidy Karuru of Zimbabwe during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Uganda and Zimbabwe at Cairo International Stadium, Cairo, Egypt on 26 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by BackPageTXT

Sunday Jun 30, 2019. 14:00

Group A rivals Zimbabwe and DR Congo will meet for a do-or-die 2019 Africa Cup of Nations clash in Cairo on Sunday 30 June, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

Zimbabwe picked up their first point of the AFCON on Wednesday night when they played out a 1-1 draw with Uganda. The Warriors were behind early on to a goal from Emmanuel Okwi, but they hit back through Khama Billiat to earn a share of the spoils.

However, the Southern Africans will be disappointed that they didn’t manage to claim all three points on offer, as they missed out on several good scoring chances through the match and were arguably the better team overall.

Coach Sunday Chidzambwa will task his team with raising their level of performance for this final group stage match, as they look to make history for the country and become the first Zimbabwean team to advance into the knockout rounds of the Nations Cup.

DR Congo are in an even worse position than Zimbabwe, having lost a second successive match when they were downed 2-0 by hosts Egypt on Wednesday night – Ahmed Elmohamady and Mohamed Salah scored for the Pharaohs.

This leaves the Leopards on zero points and with a minus four goal difference, meaning they will need a big win over Zimbabwe to have a chance of being ranked as one of the best third-place finishers.

The Warriors, meanwhile, still have a chance of finishing in the top two of the group. A win over DRC combined with a win for already-qualified Egypt over Uganda in the other Group A match would bring them level with the Cranes – it would then be down to goal difference as the tie breaker (due to the teams’ draw in midweek).

In head-to-head stats, Zimbabwe and DR Congo have met in just four previous matches. The Warriors have claimed two wins compared to one for the Leopards, while one game ended all-square.

The teams’ most recent meetings were played back-to-back in October last year in the qualification campaign for this AFCON tournament: Zimbabwe won 2-1 in Kinshasa, while the return game in Harare ended in a 1-1 stalemate.

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