Zimbabwe Set for Surprises in Gabon

first_imgThe country’s football association is saddled with debt and has at times failed to pay players’ allowances and often relies on well-wishers to cover wages for players and coaches.An economic crisis and cash shortage has seen football match attendance figures plummeting.Last year the country was expelled from the 2018 World Cup preliminary competition over non-payment of a $67,000 debt to former coach Jose Claudinei Georgini, better known by his nickname Valinhos.Zimbabwe face formidable opponents in Group B, which includes Senegal who are perched on the top rung on the continent, and Tunisia and Algeria who are third and fifth respectively.Veteran Harare-based football analyst Stanley Katsande said the team has the potential to shine at the 16-team tournament despite being counted as continental underdogs.“Zimbabwe had a very impressive record during the qualifiers,” Katsande told AFP.“They may not be the group winner but the boys will definitely leave a huge impression at the tournament despite being lowly-ranked.“While many think they will be the punching bag of the group, I am not expecting an early flight back home. They face the best teams on the continent and they certainly need to concentrate 110 percent.”Nigel Matongorere, sports editor at the Daily News newspaper, said coach Callisto Pasuwa hoped to employ tactics to beat “African giants who do have their flaws and weaknesses.”“In their previous two appearances, Zimbabwe failed to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament,” Matongorere said in a review ahead of the tournament.“This time around, Pasuwa has the players and with a bit of organisation coupled with luck, the Warriors can cause an upset.”The team, combining local and foreign-based players, has been compared to the side which shone on the continent in the 1990s winning 13 matches unbeaten under German coach Reinhard Fabisch.Key players heading to Gabon include striker Musona (KV Oostende, Belgium), midfielder Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), defender Costa Nhamoinesu (AC Sparta Praha, Czech Republic), striker Matthew Rusike (Helsingborgs IF, Sweden) and Tinotenda Kadewere (Djurgardens IF).Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Zimbabwe, dubbed “The Warriors” by home fans, return to the Africa Cup of Nations for the third time hoping to shrug off their minnows tag after failing to make it beyond the group stages in 2004 and 2006.The southern African nation is pinning its dreams on players like Belgium-based striker Knowledge Musona, who is leading scorer at top-flight side KV Oostende, and South Africa-based Khama Billiat who had a strong season at Mamelodi Sundowns.Zimbabwe, who ranks 102 in the world and 29 in Africa, won four of their six qualifying matches for the top African football showcase in Gabon next month despite being dogged by financial woes.last_img read more

Georgia finds its Jake Fromm replacement in former Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman

first_imgIt didn’t take long for Georgia to find its next quarterback.Only a few days after Jake Fromm announced he would be entering the 2020 NFL Draft, former Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman revealed he is joining the Bulldogs as a graduate transfer. MORE: LSU vs. Clemson odds, predictions, betting trends”As I look ahead, I am excited about joining such a great football program under the leadership of coach [Kirby] Smart and offensive coordinator, coach [James] Coley,” Newman said in a tweet Saturday morning. “I believe in UGA’s amazing staff, great football program and the passionate fans supporting this team.” Official Announcement. 🙏🏽 #GODSPLAN pic.twitter.com/Xb37ZGZinV— Jamie Newman (@jlmn12_) January 11, 2020Newman finished with 2,868 yards, 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for the Demon Deacons in 2019 while completing over 60 percent of his passes. He also ran for 574 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 3.2 yards per carry.In a 27-21 loss against Michigan State in the Pinstripe Bowl, Newman racked up 262 total yards and three touchdowns. The loss dropped Wake Forest to 8-5 for the season.Welcome @jlmn12_ ‼️#GoDawgs #GeorgiaFootball pic.twitter.com/q0VTGgQQUW— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) January 11, 2020Prior to Newman’s decision, the Bulldogs were ranked No. 5 in Sporting News’ way-too-early top 25 for 2020.last_img read more