Sunday Chidzambwa Special Correspondent
MORE than one-and-half years have passed since we embarked on this 2019 AFCON and, as we draw towards the end of the battles, I felt it was natural for us to pause on our journey and survey the field we have covered so far.
There is no question our people are united for the Warriors to make the final leap towards the Nations Cup finals and, while we cannot say what fate has in store for us, we promise to face whatever lies before us with both bravery and belief.
We have rearmed and rebuilt our Warriors and they understand the responsibility that has been bestowed on them by the entire country.
Every battle we have fought in this campaign has been done with pride and ambition, a never-say-die spirit, no matter the odds, no matter the pedigree of the opponents and no matter the location of the fight.
That’s who we took three points on one side of the Congo River and a point on the other side of the same great river.
But, we know the next one on Sunday is the big one and never in the field of football combat, when it comes to our Warriors, has so much been owed by so many to so few. And, all my praises go to this special group of gallant troops who have served their nation with distinction.
What I described as the Miracle of Kinshasa, where we became the first group of Warriors to win there, the Battle of Brazzaville, where we picked a point whose weight is measured in gold, and the Madness in Monrovia, where we stumbled despite being the better side, is over.
Now, the Halloween of Harare is about to begin.
Upon this massive, make-or-break battle, as defining a contest as any that has been fought on our fields, depends the reputation of our Warriors as a fighting force that has come of age.
And, the preservation of our 2019 AFCON hopes and the chance to brighten the mood of our nation devastated by the tragedy inflicted by Cyclone Idai.
We are now called upon to endure what the Class of ‘91 suffered and we promise to emulate their courage, and even get it right on Sunday, and if victory rewards our efforts, they should also share the gains of our success.
The whole fury of these Red Devils will soon be turned on us but what these Congolese know is that they will have to break us, on our land, for them to find a way to steal something from our fortress.
For them to find a way to ensure everything they have fought for in this campaign will not be lost in the haze of failure, and the pain of defeat.
If we can stand up to them on Sunday, and I’m confident we will, then all our dreams will be realised, the ghost of ‘91 will be exorcised, John Sibanda will finally rest in eternal peace and our Warriors will move forward into broad sunlit uplands.
But, if we somehow fail on Sunday, then all our hopes, all our dreams, all that we have known and longed for in the past two years, will be shattered in just one-and-half hours.
And our Warriors will sink into the abyss of a New Dark Age, once again victims of the curse of these Red Devils, the opponents who somehow just pop up at such key moments.
Let us, therefore, brace ourselves to our responsibilities and remind ourselves that, if these Warriors and the beautiful success stories they have been writing in the last four years, including an AFCON dance in Gabon and a victory in Kinshasa, last for another thousand years, men will still say, “This was their Finest Hour.”
This parody piece was written by our Senior Sports Editor, ROBSON SHARUKO, for Sunday Chidzambwa in which he imagined how the Warriors coach would address the country this week, ahead of the AFCON qualifier against Congo-Brazzaville on Sunday, with words borrowed from former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, in his powerful addresses to his nation in 1940 as World War II gathered pace.