Zimbabwe coach reminds Super Eagles of last Zimbabwe vs Nigeria result

Zimbabwe coach reminds Super Eagles of last Zimbabwe vs Nigeria result
Credit: Icon Sport

Ahead of the Super Eagles showdown with Zimbabwe at Stade Huye in Butare, Rwanda, the Warriors coach has spoken tough.

Coach Baltermar Brito says he will start his best players as Zimbabwe chase for victory against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying match on Sunday afternoon. The match kicks off at 2pm Nigeria time.

Zimbabwe played a goalless draw with Rwanda at the same venue last week, and have been in the country longer than the Nigeria team who will first try to adjust to the mountainous region.

The Super Eagles arrived in Rwanda less than 48 hours ago on the back of a 1-1 home draw with Lesotho in their own opener on Thursday.

Buoyed by that, the Warriors of Rwanda have every reason to be optimistic going into the match against a team that has largely historically dominated them.

Zimbabwe team news

Coach Brito has all but one of his players available, as the country braces for one of the biggest games of the qualifiers they will play in the six-team Group C.

Admiral Muskwe was injured during the Rwanda match.

The gaffer did not have the privilege to pick his best players available in the squad in the draw against Rwanda.

Some of the players delayed joining camp due to the logistics involved, especially given that some international leagues were still running by Sunday last week, making planning a bit difficult.

As a result, some players, like Udinese star Jordan Zemura and Sheriff Tiraspol defender Munashe Garan’anga, did not have time to train with the rest of the team. The duo arrived in Butare just two hours before the match.

Others like forward Tino Kadewere only had a few hours of practice with their teammates.

Brito had no option but to bench those who did not have sufficient time to get his philosophy, and he threw a squad that had four locally based players, including Andrew Mbeba who had an afternoon to forget against the Rwandans.

However, Brito has already revealed he will ring the changes in the team that will play the Super Eagles.

What Baltermar Brito said ahead of the clash with the Super Eagles

“We didn’t have much time to prepare for the match against Rwanda, and, even without much time, we still managed to do well,” said Brito.

“We feel this is the beginning of a new era for Zimbabwean football. We will make changes, bringing a team with those stars to face Nigeria.

“Nigeria is a big team, and we know what they are capable of doing as a team. They have a lot of talented players in their team and we should make sure they don’t get to shine against us.

Talented Super Eagle, Victor Boniface
Credit: Icon Sport

“We need to be compact, play as a unit and see what happens. But we remain confident that we can get a good result. At the end of the day, a good result is what we need to get.”

“We started with a draw and we are now going all out in search of that win.

“I am happy we had so many fans in the stands when we played Rwanda on Wednesday, and we are appealing for the same support on Sunday against Nigeria.

“I know it’s difficult playing a home match away, but we need to adjust our mindset as a team and play well to get the result we need.”

Kadewere, who replaced Prince Dube in the match against Rwanda, said the Warriors should be ready to suffer but ultimately get the reward against Nigeria.

“The last time we played against Nigeria, the match ended 1-1, and we take that as a positive,” he said.

“Of course, they are counted as one of the biggest teams in Africa, but we don’t want to put that into our minds.

“We have to go into the pitch telling ourselves that it’s a cup final; we need to do everything to get this victory for ourselves and the nation. We should do our best.”

The Lyon forward said Zimbabwe should concentrate on taming the star players who will play for Nigeria today.

“We all know Nigeria; they have a very good squad.

“Of course, they have a few players missing, like Victor Osimhen and Samuel Chukwueze, but they still have a very good squad,” Kadewere added.

“We don’t need to focus on those missing; we have to focus on those who are there. We should try to put our minds into the game and take it as a final.”

“Zimbabwe has the quality..We should try and make sure that we don’t sit back; we have to push forward to get the victory.

“It’s not going to be easy, but we need to throw more than 100 percent into this game.”

The Warriors are largely buoyed by the presence of figures like Peter Ndlovu and Desmond Maringwa, who are here as part of the ZIFA Normalisation Committee’s efforts to involve legends of the game with the national teams.

The former star players are happy with the mood in the camp ahead of the match against Nigeria.

South Africa leads Group C on 3 points, while Zimbabwe and Nigeria have 1 point respectively ahead of kick-off.

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

Joseph is a freelance writer who spends most of his time writing engaging football contents. Based in Nigeria, Joseph is a die-hard Real Madrid fan with over 8 years experience in the sports betting space. He has covered football match previews, predictions, and news across leagues in Africa and Europe.