A FEELING of déjà vu may stealthily steal into this Armageddon-esque 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final Group G qualifier encounter between Zimbabwe and Congo Brazzaville.
For next weekend will set the scene for a do-or-die battle where our Warriors and the visiting Red Devils will cross swords, with a one-way ticket to the tournament finals scheduled for June in Egypt on stake.
With the erringly same setting, same scene but only different protagonists many a Zimbabwean football fan shall certainly be looking forward to a different act playing out before the multitude that is likely to flock to the National Sports Stadium in droves.
For Congo Brazaville stood between us and qualification for the 1992 Afcon finals in Senegal, ruining and running our dream into a nightmare on that gloomy July afternoon in 1991 following a calamitous blunder by goalkeeper John Sibanda that effectively doomed our quest.
Yet after a flying start our current campaign has stuttered in the last two games of these Group G qualifiers — which we hope will not come to a snag in this final match — and Congo are coming to town again, with that 28-year-old debacle still stubbornly tucked in the subconscious of several faithful’s minds.
Ominously, our captain then Moses Chunga was playing in Belgium and our skipper today Knowledge Musona is also plying his trade there.
But while Chunga could not play his Biblical namesake Moses and deliver us to the Promised Land back then, we trust Musona is blessed with the Knowledge to help and guide his troops to accomplishing the feat and securing us a place in the Land of the Pharaohs.
Our fervent prayer is that nothing happens to our first choice goalie George Chigova to rule him out of the tie and another Sibanda, this time Edmore, ends between the sticks guarding our goal.
The prayer is that lightning will not strike the same place twice and that the sad history does not repeat itself to deal our quest to conquer Congo and qualify for the Afcon finals a fatal blow. Will Congo Brazzaville bring the same curse as last time?
Fate and destiny, we are keeping our fingers crossed, cannot conspire to cruelly twist and derail our campaign.
This month of March, barring the notoriously ominous Ides it carries, has to see us marching to Egypt for the biennial soccer showcase.
With the Fat Lady yet to sing, the Warriors just need a result good enough to see them dragging themselves over the finishing line.
If it is about football that you care let’s share the cheer because we are made for the game, mad about the game!
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