SAKUBVA-BRED Warriors defender, Onismor Bhasera believes Zimbabwe’s 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign is still alive, and its revival begins with victories in their doubleheader against Ghana.
The Warriors are away to the Black Stars tomorrow (Saturday) before hosting them on Tuesday in Group G back-to-back clashes to mark the halfway stage of the qualifiers.
There is still plenty to play for, with very little separating the teams as the race hots up after only two rounds of matches.
Neighbours, South Africa are perched at the apex of the Group G standings with four points, while Ghana, and Ethiopia are tied on three points. Zimbabwe anchor the log with a single point.
Against such a background, the seasoned fullback reckons a course-charting win is due for the Warriors.
“We are the only team yet to pick up maximum points among our opponents, and that is fuelling our drive towards that goal. A win, especially away to Ghana, will be a fantastic tonic that will give us a huge take-off in the qualifiers.
“We did not dismally perform in our draw with South Africa, and loss to Ethiopia; so we are not hopelessly off the mark. Our target on Saturday (tomorrow) is to collect the three points, and cover ground on our opponents,” said the versatile Mutare-born defender who was used in a makeshift central defence position in the previous outing.
With respected gaffer, Norman Mapeza now behind the wheel to drive Zimbabwe’s quest for qualification to Qatar, Bhasera is rallying his colleagues to take the remainder of the marathon by the scruff of its neck.
Mapeza replaced the sacked expatriate Croatian coach, Zdravko Logarušic who had superintended the Warriors’ stuttering start to the campaign.
The former national team captain’s appointment was greeted with glee and renewed optimism among football stakeholders, including the supporters and players.
Relishing his second stint in charge of the team, Mapeza will also be keen to deliver.
And that collective sense, and zeal to achieve, according to Bhasera, can see them accomplish the mission and make history.
Enthused the ex-Kaizer Chiefs and Plymouth Argyle man: “Everyone is raring to go. There is so much at stake and history is beckoning us as we can become the first ever group to take Zimbabwe to the World Cup finals.
“We are on a mission, one that can be fruitful with unity of purpose among everyone involved. The group is still wideopen and anything can happen. The time to bounce back is now and we have to do it in style.”
An old hand of the game, Bhasera has vowed to make his experience count.
Since being recalled into the senior men football team, he has not looked back.
He made a triumphant return into the squad last year in March to help the Warriors secure qualification for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
A ticket to Qatar is his next target.
The 33-year-old La Sakubva graduate is geared to hold down a first team Warriors shirt.
He has also become a nailed-on starter at his South African Premiership side SuperSport United.