ZIMBABWE coach Sunday Chidzambwa is set to become the first gaffer to guide the Warriors in more than three AFCON finals matches when he leads them at the 2019 Nations Cup showcase in Egypt. The country’s most successful football coach will underline his lofty standing when he returns to the AFCON finals for the second time, as coach, and first time in 15 years.
Chidzambwa became the first gaffer to lead the Warriors to the Nations Cup finals, ending a lengthy 23-year wait for the team in which it had repeatedly suffered from collapsing at the final hurdle when the Promised Land appeared within reach.
He masterminded the Warriors maiden show at the AFCON finals in Tunisia in 2004 and his team scored in each of their three group games, winning one, a 2-1 victory over Algeria, and losing twice aainst Egypt and then defending champions Cameroon.
The match against the Pharaohs was very tight, with the Egyptians squeezing a 2-1 victory, but things could have been very different if striker Wilfred Mugeyi had not missed a very good chance to equalise at the end of the contest.
Then, he was his men concede five goals against the then defending champions Cameroon, which meant the three goals they scored that day, the highest tally the Indomitable Lions had conceded at this level of the game in years, counted for little.
However, in the final group match, the Warriors roared to beat Algeria 2-1 for their first victory at the AFCON finals.
Charles Mhlauri then led the Warriors at the 2006 AFCON finals where his team lost to Nigeria and Senegal by identical 0-2 margins before they flexed their muscles to beat a World Cup-bound Ghana 2-1 in Ismailia.
Callisto Pasuwa then took over the challenge as he guided the Warriors to three Nations Cup finals matches in Gabon where they drew against Algeria but lost to Tunisia and Senegal.
Chidzambwa will, at least, make it four AFCON finals matches in charge of the Warriors in Egypt later this year, becoming the first coach to achieve such a feat with the team.