Although he said Zimbabweans must not lose focus and concentrate more on the World Cup draw, he added that the country should put more attention on the more immediate African Cup of Nations.
Popularly known as Muchina Wemajuzi (knitting machine) during his playing days, the former Galatasaray player and Warriors captain says the World Cup will only come next year and what is important now is to make sure that the Warriors overcome Liberia in Harare in September and pick up three points away in Cape Verde to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations.
‘We have to concentrate more on these two games so that we see ourselves at Afcon,’ says Mapeza. For the Cape Verde match, the coach has no doubts about what is at stake. ‘That is the most important game and we are going to fight …to see that we get the three points,’ he said
Zimbabwe are in third position in the four team group and desperately need to win their remaining two matches to remain with a realistic chance of qualifying for the 2012 Nations Cup. The Warriors have five points, one behind second placed Mali. Leaders Cape Verde have seven points.
Only one team from the group qualifies for the continental football festival. Cape Verde travel to Mali on the same day Zimbabwe will be hosting Liberia at Rufaro Stadium.
Zimbabwe appeared last at the Nations Cup in 2006 but missed the 2008 and 2010 tournaments. For the World Cup, Zimbabwe has been drawn in the same group with Egypt, Guinea, and the winner between the Comoros and Mozambique.
The World Cup qualifiers will begin in June 2012 and wind up in September 2013.