by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – ZIMBABWEAN captain, Knowledge Musona, stands a chance to finish as the top goal scorer when curtain comes down for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying matches this weekend.
Nicknamed the “Smiling Assassin”, the Belgian-based forward is expected to lead the Warriors’ line against Congo Brazzaville at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on Sunday.
He leads the scoring charts with three goals.
His rivals to the accolade have two goals.
These include Ima Andriatsima (Madagascar), Raphael Dwamena (Ghana), Cedric Bakambu (Democratic Republic of Congo ‘DRC’), Moussa Sow (Senegal) and Seydou Doumbia (Ivory Coast).
Meanwhile, teams from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and East Africa are poised to seal qualification to Africa’s prime football competition.
Angola, DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are on the verge of qualifying to Egypt provided they avoid defeat this weekend.
It will be a nail-biting affair for fans from the SADC region as 90 minutes stand between their prospects if their teams qualifying or bowing out.
“I’m just praying that SADC teams would avoid slip-offs at the last hurdle. It will be exciting watching SADC teams shine at the AFCON finals as opposed to watching other regional football nations,” said Idah Marcos of Mozambique.
Ronald Coetzee of South Africa expressed hope eight nations from the aforementioned regions qualify for the AFCON.
“This would enable the widest choice to watch our national teams,” Coetzee said.
In the current run scheduled for weekend, only Madagascar have already qualified with a game to spare whilst 8 other SADC regional member states are on the verge making it to Egypt if they win or draw their matches.
Southern African teams have largely been punching bags in the AFCON since the tournament began in 1957.
Only South Africa (in 1996) and Zambia (2012) have won the competition.
FRIDAY, 22 March
Malawi Vs Morocco, Kamazu Stadium (15:00hrs)
Nigeria Vs Seychelles, Stephen Keshi Stadium (17:00hrs)
Burkina Faso Vs Mauritania, Stade du 4-Aout (19:00hrs)
Botswana Vs Angola, Francistown Stadium (19:00hrs)
Sudan Vs Equatorial Guinea, Al-Hilal Stadium (19:00hrs)
Tunisia Vs Swaziland, Stade Olympique de Rades (20:15hrs)
Algeria Vs Gambia, Stade Mustapha Tchaker (21:45hrs)
SATURDAY, 23 March 2019
Burundi Vs Gabon, Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium (15:00hrs)
Cameroon Vs Comoros, Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium (17:00hrs)
Niger Vs Egypt, Stade General Seyni Kountche (17:30hrs)
Guinea-Bissau Vs Mozambique, Estadio 24 de Setembro (18:30hrs)
Zambia Vs Namibia, Heroes National Stadium (18:30hrs)
Cote d’Ivoire Vs Rwanda, Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny (19:00)
Ghana Vs Kenya, Accra Sports Stadium (20:00hrs)
Mali Vs South Sudan, Stade 26 Mars (21:00hrs
SUNDAY, 24 March 2019
Senegal Vs Madagascar, TBA (4:00hrs)
DR Congo Vs Liberia, Stade des Martyrs (15:00hrs)
Zimbabwe Vs Congo, National Sports Stadium (15:00hrs)
Central African Republic Vs Guinea, Barthelemy Boganda Stadium (16:00hrs)
Tanzania Vs Uganda, Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium (17:00hrs)
Cape Verde Vs Lesotho, Estadio Nacional de Cabo Verde (17:00hrs)
Benin Vs Togo, Stade de l’Amitie (17:00hrs)
Libya Vs South Africa, Stade Taieb Mhiri (19:00hrs)
– CAJ News