Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THE COSAFA Cup final turned out to be quite an emotional outing for Tinotenda Kadewere after he scored a memorable brace in the final that ensured Zimbabwe won a record sixth title at the weekend. Kadewere, who had not featured on the Warriors score-sheet despite his growing status in Sweden in the last three years, could not hold his emotions.
“The equaliser was fantastic, it brought us back in the game but I felt it was all because of team effort. The guys showed great character, we need that spirit going forward,” said Kadewere.
“Personally, I enjoyed the tournament. I think this was a great experience for us all. It’s always good to have moments like these as a team and for the coaches to see different combinations and how the players can gel, especially with the AFCON qualifiers, coming up next.
“But it’s always good to win tournaments and games that we play, no matter how big or small, to boost the morale.
“It was a bit tough for us, there was pressure because everyone expected us to win this tournament. But then we did not have enough time together to prepare for it.
“If we had been together for some time I think it could have been better. The good thing, however, is that we managed to bring the cup home.’’
He said there were a lot of good players in Zimbabwe. “Above all, I think we have so much quality in Zimbabwe. I have seen new players coming almost every time when we play in the last few years,’’ he said.
“Going forward, we as players need to continue working hard when we go back to our bases since we usually don’t get many opportunities together.
“We need to be more focused on the challenges ahead of us. The AFCON qualifiers are fast approaching. We were at the finals last year and we want to go back again. Our destiny is in our hands. We all need that experience and I don’t doubt the quality and the spirit we have in our team.’’
Recently, Kadewere became the first Zimbabwean to score four goals in a league match in Europe’s top-flight league when he helped his side Djurgadern IF to a 5-1 thrashing of fellow Swedish topflight outfit IK Sirius.
The feat also made him the first Djurgarden IF player, since Tommy Berggren in 1978, to score four goals in a single league game.
The forward is expected to fly back to his base in Sweden on Thursday and join his teammates as they prepare for the resumption of the league this Saturday and their participation in the Europa League.
“This is going to be my first time to play in the Europa League. It’s something I am really looking forward to. I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing feeling.
“It’s everyone’s dream to play the Champions League or Europa. It’s an opportunity that has come for me and I need to grab it with both hands and probably some day it will be Champions League.
“I have had a bit of time to rest with my family. Our team will resume training tomorrow (today) but I will leave on Thursday. Hope to continue from where I left off. I need to continue working hard and to score goals so that I grow to become one of the best in Sweden,” said Kadewere.