He warns War­riors:

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Ed­die Chikamhi Se­nior Sports Re­porter

THE Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo’s Ger­many-based star Mar­cel Tis­serand has warned the War­riors that they may need to move moun­tains if they are to claim max­i­mum points in the two sides’ African Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fier at the Com­plexe Om­nis­ports des Stade Mar­tyrs to­mor­row.

The match kicks off at 7.30pm lo­cal time.

Tis­serand, who plays for Wolfs­burg in the Ger­man Bun­desliga, is one of a host of Europe-based stars called by coach Florent Ibenge for the back-to-back clashes, in their quest to seize con­trol of Group G. The de­fender yes­ter­day told the

DRC foot­ball fed­er­a­tion web­site that the Leop­ards were mo­ti­vated to qual­ify for the fi­nal of the tour­na­ment to be held in Cameroon next year.

The 25-year-old sounded up­beat as he marked his re­turn from a thigh in­jury that had side­lined him from ac­tion in Ger­many this sea­son.

The French-born de­fender, who has over 10 caps for DRC, said he was happy to come back home and was pleased to see a mo­ti­vated dress­ing room when they be­gan camp this week.

“I come back af­ter a short pe­riod of ab­sence in the na­tional team. I am very happy to come back and very happy to be able to play again with the Congo.

“It does me a lot of good. It’s one thing to play with your club and it’s an­other to do it for your coun­try. I had missed play­ing with the Congo.

“To­day, it’s done. I came back and I can­not wait to find all the friends to pre­pare this match against Zim­babwe which is very im­por­tant.

“You will see highly mo­ti­vated play­ers who want to play to­gether again, a very com­pet­i­tive team and es­pe­cially who will want to show the peo­ple that it wants togo very far in this African Cup and it starts with this qual­i­fi­ca­tion,” he said.

Tis­serand, who was born in France to a French fa­ther and a Con­golese mother, rep­re­sented DRC Un­der-19 in 2012 and was the cap­tain of the Un­der-20 in the 2013 Toulon Tour­na­ment.

He was part of the DRC squad that reached the quar­ter-fi­nals at last year’s Africa Cup of Na­tions in Gabon and he wants an­other bite of the cherry.

The Con­golese side be­gan their camp on Mon­day with 15 play­ers. But by yes­ter­day coach Ibenge had al­most a full house, with the ar­rival of play­ers such as An­thony Mossi Ngawi (Chi­asso FC / Switzer­land), Jor­dan Ikoko (Guingamp/ France), Arthur Ma­suaku (Westham/ Eng­land), Neeskens Ke­bano (Ful­ham/ Eng­land), Chan­cel Mbe­mba Man­gulu (FC Porto/Por­tu­gal), Cedric Bakambu (Bei­jing Gouan/China), Yan­nick Yala Bo­lasie (As­ton Villa/ Eng­land). Bel­gium-based de­fender Chris­tian Luyin­dama said the DRC are look­ing to take con­trol af­ter the group was left open yes­ter­day fol­low­ing Congo-Braz­zav­ille’s 3-1 thrash­ing of Liberia. Congo joined Zim­babwe and

DRC on four points, but the War­riors re­tained top spot cour­tesy of a mar­ginal goal dif­fer­ence.

Luyin­dama, who plays for Stan­dard Liege in the Bel­gian Pro-League also promised to give the best of him­self bas­ing on his knowl­edge of Zim­bab­wean play­ers Knowl­edge Mu­sona and Mar­velous Nakamba who also play in Bel­gium.

“We are very mo­ti­vated to play this game which is not the least. We will beat Zim­babwe and take the lead. It’s re­ally our wish.

“Per­son­ally, I know some play­ers from the Zim­bab­wean se­lec­tion. For ex­am­ple, Knowl­edge Mu­sona with whom we play in the Bel­gian league. Me, for my part, I will give the best of my­self. I’m sure ev­ery­thing will be fine, “he told the Con­golese foot­ball fed­er­a­tion web­site. The con­fi­dence is seem­ingly flow­ing among all Con­golese play­ers with Stuttgart winger Chadrac Akolo said they will be vig­i­lant in the back to back meet­ings, with the re­turn trip sched­uled for next Tues­day night at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium in Harare.

“We have no pres­sure. The first match is played at home. All we have to do is do the job right here in Kinshasa and we’ll go out­side. We must stay fo­cused.

“We must not sleep be­cause we play at home first. Whether it is here or out­side, it will be dif­fi­cult. We will have to stay fo­cused. The at­mos­phere is good for the mo­ment. I was bro­ken af­ter not qual­i­fy­ing for the World Cup. I am very good phys­i­cally and I hope to help the team as much as pos­si­ble,” said Akolo.

Zim­babwe, on the other hand feel they are in good space af­ter get­ting a warm wel­come from their hosts upon ar­rival on Tues­day morn­ing. Team man­ager Welling­ton Mpan­dare said they have been train­ing on the ar­ti­fi­cial turf where the match will be played to­mor­row evening.

“We had our first train­ing ses­sion on Wed­nes­day from 3pm-5pm and we had an­other one to­day same time at the match venue.

“It’s an ar­ti­fi­cial turf which is a bit harder than the one that we played on in Congo Braz­zav­ille but the guys are psyched up. They can’t wait for the game.

“Morale in camp is very high and we are look­ing for­ward to the game. But to­mor­row (to­day) we train at 6:30pm DRC time, which 7:30pm Zim­bab­wean time so ev­ery­thing is un­der con­trol and we are look­ing for­ward to the game,” said Mpan­dare.

The War­riors team man­ager also said the Zim­babwe team wel­comed yes­ter­day’s re­sult be­tween hosts Congo and Liberia in Braz­zav­ille.

“It’s good for us be­cause we didn’t want a sit­u­a­tion where Libe- ria win in Congo and win again in Liberia when they play the re­turn leg at the week­end. So we are still top and it’s good for us,” said Mpan­dare.

ZIFA Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor Wil­son Mtekede said the War­riors had to leave early and camp in

DRC to man­age re­cov­ery and per­for­mance.

“The fix­tures are too close to each other. What we wanted to max­imise on was the re­cov­ery pe­riod be­tween the two fix­tures be­cause this sit­u­a­tion is com­pounded by the is­sue of flights.

“So we had to con­sider our play­ers be­cause if they are to per­form to the op­ti­mum lev­els they need to have proper re­cov­ery. They will leave DRC im­me­di­ately af­ter the game on Satur­day and ar­rive on Sun­day morn­ing so that they have a de­cent re­cov­ery pe­riod, which is about 48 hours.

“Un­like in Europe where teams have one or two-hour flights, we usu­ally don’t have di­rect flights in the re­gion and that will then mean that the team will have to spend hours and hours in trav­el­ling. “That is why we had to travel early. Mod­ern day trends of the game em­pha­sise on proper train­ing, prepa­ra­tion, re­cov­ery so as to im­prove the com­pe­ti­tion and the per­for­mance of the play­ers. “So the onus is upon the lead­er­ship to man­age these el­e­ments,” said Mutekede.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.