Mohamed Salah's Egypt secure win in AFCON opener

Khaled Desouki AFP

Khaled Desouki AFP

HELLO Zimbabwe, this is your captain speaking, in the week that we open our 2019 AFCON finals campaign with a tough date against the hosts, Egypt, here in Cairo tomorrow night.

"In 2017 we had a few experienced players but now it's more of a young squad".

"Deliberations were ongoing, but there was never a time when we said we were not talking to each other", ZIFA board member for finance Philemon Machana told ZTN News.

After avenging last year's Champions League anguish with Liverpool three weeks ago, Salah is now on a mission for redemption with the Pharaohs after injury wrecked his World Cup campaign in Russian Federation - ruining Egypt's return to the global showpiece after a 28-year absence.

Kadewere, 23, scored twice in the final as Zimbabwe overcame Zambia 4-2 after extra time to win the regional tournament in 2018, the second of back-to-back titles in the Southern Africa event. We are in Egypt to achieve success and make every Zimbabwean proud of us.

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The Warriors claimed the football association executive had not paid their allowances and appearance fee with each player claiming US$9 000. We are hoping to make people remember our names. We will do our best come Friday. "We try to manage, to keep up the pace, but it is very hard", he said. I noticed that one of our problems is that we leave the ball to bounce and, once it does, it becomes the ball for anyone and everyone and it gives a good opportunity for the opponents but overall, our defence is so strong and solid and in the qualifiers it was a positive campaign and we didn't concede many goals. "If we concentrate only on one, others will destroy us", he warned. Of the 23 players we had last time (at the 2017 AFCON finals) only nine are here, the rest are not here, it's a little bit hard because some of the coaches have their favourites whom they want if the coach stays for the next three, four, five years, I think this team will be playing at every AFCON finals.

The players further protested the fact that Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Walter Musona and Ovidy Karuru - had ended up having to meet their medical bills while on national team duty.

It's not just the Africa Cup of Nations that's coming to Egypt, fantasy football is too.

"It's not going to be easy for us, but we are going there to fulfil our duties and to represent our country, and to do everything possible for us to get a win". "It means even a greater achievement by playing against the host nation in the first game, playing against the best African player, and probably one of the best in the world also", said Kadewere.

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