HARARE – Star Zimbabwe player Jordan Zemura reckons the Warriors’ “quality” can match that of continental power Nigeria when the two sides meet Sunday in a World Cup qualifying match in Rwanda.

England-born utility man Zemura, who now turns out for Serie A side Udinese, has been one of Zimbabwe’s best performers since he was first capped in 2020 by the country of his parents’ birth.

“We know our history, it isn’t the best, but it doesn’t mean anything now,” Zemura told a press conference in Butare, Rwanda, on Saturday.

Zimbabwe drew with Rwanda away on Wednesday in both teams’ opening Group C World Cup qualifier. Because Zimbabwe’s substandard stadiums are currently banned, they stayed put in Rwanda for their home match against Nigeria’s Super Eagles on Sunday – kick-off 3pm Zim time.

23-year-old former Bournemouth fullback Zemura isn’t fazed at all by everything, commenting:

“We are all ready to play the game and see what’s gonna happen really. We can’t go too far into the past, we just need to focus on the present. We are ready to compete. There is a lot of quality in the (Zimbabwe) group, we’ve just been encouraging each other. We know the quality that Nigeria has. We just need to perform well and stay strong, stay with each other and take opportunities. We all understand the situation we are in, that we can’t play in our home stadium. But we are all on social media, we see when you guys interact with us on social media and it means a lot to us. So we feel the presence of all the Zimbabweans out there.”

Zimbabwe and Nigeria come into the Sunday match having started with draws, 0-0 with Rwanda and 1-1 against Lesotho respectively.

The Nigerians have been to the World Cup six times before while Zimbabwe has never qualified for world football’s showpiece tournament.


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