England-born Warriors and Bournemouth defender Jordan Zemura’s international debut was dampened by the country’s Afcon qualifier defeat to African champions Algeria on Thursday night.
It has been a meteoric rise for the 21-year-old star, who joined Bournemouth as a free agent in May last year and was elevated to the first team this season, impressing against Premier League sides Crystal Palace and Manchester City in the Carabao Cup.
Zemura earned his Warriors debut against Algeria playing in the midfield alongside Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba and Ovidy Karuru.
The player ran his feet to the ground in the 70 minutes that he played and showed a lot of attacking impetus, causing the African champions a lot of anxious moments.
Sadly for him, the match ended in a 3-1 defeat for Zimbabwe.
“I am a winner so it’s hard for me to express the delight of a debut after a defeat,” Zemura told journalists after the Algeria game.
“But when the national anthem was going I just felt a lot of joy. I felt I must play and contribute to the team. I feel I did well and hopefully on Monday (tomorrow) I get another opportunity again.”
He reiterated his desire to play for Zimbabwe in October last year in an interview with the Bournemouth website.
“The idea of playing for your country is surreal, it’s what you dream of when you’re a kid. Now I’m a bit older and the opportunity could arise. I’m really excited,” Zemura told the Cherries website.
“I’m still humble from how I’ve been raised by my family and they tell me not to think too much about something that hasn’t happened yet.
“If I could pull on the shirt and represent Zimbabwe, then I’d be thinking what I can achieve, how I can help and give another child in Zimbabwe the inspiration to see what can be done.
“They’re the next generation, and there is talent both there and in England with players who can represent Zimbabwe.
“Being at Bournemouth is such a big platform for me, and I want to inspire people and see the country do really well,” added Zemura.
Interestingly, Zemura achieved his dream of representing his country of origin on the eve of his 21st birthday.
He turned 21 yesterday.
Zemura also shared his sentiments on the Algeria match on Thursday night.
“It was a good game. I felt that before the goals we had done well. “Defensively, we had done well and kept them at bay and the first goal was a kick in the mouth and the second we gave them the opportunity to score.
“And against a team like that, you give them an opportunity… they will score. But the second half, it was better and I think on another day, we could have scored more than one. We could have scored two, we could have scored three,” he said.
The Bournemouth man is looking to earn his second cap in the reverse fixture against Algeria tomorrow.