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While Zimbabwe has had very little luck in qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations with only two outings, they have successfully been curving a name for themselves in the CHAN tournament.
This will be Zimbabwes third successive appearance in the biannual tournament exclusively for home-based national team players.
The tournament has also helped launch the careers of familiar PSL-based Zimbabwe stars like Cuthbert Malajila, Washington Arubi and Denver Mukamba.
However, despite Zimbabwe good fortunes in CHAN qualification, they have yet to make it out of the preliminary group stage.
But with new coach Ian Gorowa is hoping that will be a thing of the past especially after eliminating Zambia via a shock away 1-0 win in the final leg qualifier to advance 1-0 on aggregate.
Zimbabwe enjoyed their best run in the competition as they finished in fourth place, losing 1-0 to Nigeria in their third-place playoff match.
The Warriors progressed from the group stage for the first time, finishing second in Group B with five points from their three matches.
It was the tightest group but Ian Gorowas men managed to sneak into the knockout phase courtesy of two goalless draws against Morocco and Uganda, as well as a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in their last group match.
What followed was an improved performance which resulted in a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Mali, but they were unable to reach the final, losing to eventual winners Libya on penalties following yet another goalless stalemate.
Masimba Mambare, Simba Sithole and Kuda Mahachi all scored a goal each during the tournament, but it was the latter who was the sides most creative offensive player.
Their strength lied in defence where the likes of Partson Jaure, Eric Chipeta and goalkeeper George Chigova proved to be rock solid.
Overall, it was a fruitful tournament for the Southern African side and many of the young players who were given a chance in this competition will look to keep their place in the main Warriors squad.
|2017 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFIERS TEAM RECORD
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