THE Young Warriors return to action this afternoon when they clash with Lesotho in their second MOPANI Copper Mines COSAFA Under-20 Championships Group C assignment in Mufulira, Zambia where victory could see them virtually through to the semi-finals.
Zimbabwe and Lesotho lock horns at Shinde Stadium.
The Young Warriors, who have struggled in the past two editions of the regional youth tournament got just the kind of start they wished for when they edged Botswana 2-1 on Monday.
But it is Lesotho, who held the Young Warriors to a goalless stalemate last year and went on to win the group, who will once again provide the biggest test to coach Bhekhithemba Ndlovu’s charges.
In fact, last year’s showing was one of the worst campaigns by any class of the country’s development squad.
The six-time champions go into battle knowing that they would be on course for an improved performance if they clear the Lesotho hurdle.
Speaking after Monday’s victory against Botswana, coach Ndlovu said the win was a confidence booster for the side.
“Going forward I think it’s a boost to us. It will give the boys confidence going to the next game, they have won this one, the next one also they believe that we are winning.
“That winning mentality I think it’s there in them now, so our next game we would like to win it again,” said Ndlovu.
Zimbabwe have a two-point lead in Group C after Angola and Lesotho settled for 1-1 stalemate in the other pool game on Monday.
With just the top team in each group and the best-placed runners-up proceeding to the semi-finals, Ndlovu knows a win today will see them through. But unlike Botswana, Lesotho will be out to prove that their second place finish behind South Africa last year was no fluke.
They also made it to the final in 2005, but lost to Madagascar.