Zimbabwe coach Zdravko Logarušic has said he expects Group B of the TotalEnergies AFCON finals to be open and competitive without an absolute favourite despite the presence of Senegal.
The Croatian coach was reacting to Tuesday’s draw held at Yaounde Conference Centre where Zimbabwe were drawn alongside Malawi, Guinea and Senegal, who are the continent’s number one ranked side.
He said all teams in the group should not be undermined on paper as the terrain of African football has changed.
“First reaction [from some quarters] was like: ‘this group is not so strong’, but people are wrong. Every nation which plays at the Africa Cup of Nations [finals], for sure, has the same goal,” he told CAFOnline.com.
“The 24 [qualified] nations have the same goal: to try to win and to try to produce the best results to make our people happy, to make our countries happy and to make our football accepted.”
Logarušic said while Guinea and Senegal are strong on paper, Malawi and Zimbabwe can cause upsets at the finals, as there is no small team in modern football on the continent.
“But the point is [that] 24 of us have the same target but only one team can reach [the advanced stages]. Anyway, this group is very competitive. I am not seeing a big favourite except Senegal.
“That means even [for] Senegal— [as is the case] so many times in Africa Cup of Nations games—you see small teams producing big results against big teams. That means every game is different and there is no favourite in the group,” Logarušic said.
Zimbabwe will make their fifth appearance at the AFCON finals and alongside Malawi, are the only ones from Southern Africa to make it.