Zemura recounts toughest period of his life

13 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
Zemura recounts toughest period of his life HE WARRIOR HAS LANDED . . . Zimbabwe’s UK-based utility player Jordan Zemura arriving at Vallee de Bana Hotel in Bafoussam, Cameroon, yesterday afternoon where he joined the rest of the Warriors squad for the on-going AFCON finals in the west African country

The Herald

Stories from Tadious Manyepo in BAFOUSSAM, Cameroon

WARRIORS utility player Jordan Zemura says testing positive for Covid-19 at a time he was preparing to fly out of England for the African Cup of Nations was one of the most painful episodes in his life.

He has endured other disappointments in life since failing to sign for Chelsea as a kid just because he was based a two-hour drive away from the London giants’ training ground.

But retaining a positive result when he was looking at playing his last game for his English Championship side, AFC Bournemouth against Peterborough last week, rates as one of the most hurting incidents in his career.

Not because he hasn’t had the bout before but the 22-year-old was looking at playing that match before immediately flying to Cameroon for his maiden AFCON finals.

After seven days, he still tested positive and that meant he would miss the Warriors first match of the campaign against Senegal.

The Warriors lost 0-1 in that match. And Zemura could play a part in the second encounter against Malawi tomorrow after his arrival here yesterday afternoon.

He arrived in Cameroon on Tuesday night and was received and accompanied from Yaounde to Bafoussam by ZIFA technical director, Wilson Mutekede.

He trained with the rest of the squad from 5pm yesterday despite having taken a taxing five-hour road trip from the capital, Yaounde.

“I had to isolate for seven days leading up to the African Cup of Nations. This is a tournament that I had always told myself I would play and just before my departure this happens. It was so painful to say the least. I really wanted to be part of the fun and missing the game against Senegal was so hurting,” he said.

“But, look, the boys did an unbelievable job in that match. I have watched it again and again with pride. They were toe-to-toe with that team and it was incredible.

“Unfortunately, we lost it in the final minute. It was painful, but the boys did a splendid job. That was top performance from the boys.”

Zemura is over the moon after having finally  made it here and could be in line to play a part tomorrow against the Flames of Malawi.

“This is a match we have no choice going into but to collect the maximum points. We have to go as a unit, just like was the case against Senegal, defend well, play well and score goals. The truth is every match at a tournament is tough, the competition is stiff and you need to be smarter.

“This is a match that we should win at all costs. It feels like it will be a final given the destiny of both teams relies mainly on the outcome of this game.

“Malawi lost in their first match and we also lost. They want to recover and we also want to recover. That’s interesting but we need to be the ones smiling at the end of the day.

“We have always talked about reaching the knock-out stages and that hinges on the outcome of Friday’s match.

“That’s interesting, it means a lot to us as players and to the whole of the country.

“We will have to fight for each other and see to it we get the result our badge deserves.”

The Warriors need to attack as much as they defend if they are to get a result against a Flames side whose hope also lies in tomorrow’s game.

Winger Ishmael Wadi, who was one of the standout performers against Senegal, said they need to be more clinical.

Wadi is one the players who worked over time on Monday as he was involved in the defensive work as well as trying to launch attacks against Senegal.

“I think we need to be more clinical in the attacking third than we were against Senegal,” said Wadi.

“We should put 20 percent more work than was the case when we played Senegal.

“Personally, I think I should decide better when in attack and to my teammates, I would like to say, let’s go out there guys, do everything and try to win this match.

“Given we lost to Senegal in our opening match, it now means we should throw everything in our game against Malawi.

“It is a match that we need to win. If we beat Malawi, we will have some breathing space as we await to play Guinea next week.”

By the time Zimbabwe will play Malawi tomorrow, they would have known how Senegal and Guinea, who have three points each, would have fared.

The west Africans open the day at Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium at 3pm before the southern African derby at 6pm.

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