AFCON 2019: Zimbabwean left-back who had Mo Salah in his pockets

Mohamed Salah

Meet Zimbabwe Warriors’ Divine Lunga.The left-back didn’t give Egypt’s talisman breathing room in the Africa Cup of Nations opener

Zimbabwe left-back Divine Lunga has revealed he was following coach Sunday Chidzambwa’s instructions to tightly mark Egypt’s Mohamed Salah in their Africa Cup of Nations 2019 (Afcon 2019) opener on Friday.

Even though the Warriors were defeated by the Pharaohs 1-0, the defender made sure the Liverpool star was contained for most of the encounter in Cairo.

Speaking to Goal after the game, the 24-year-old went into detail about the man-marking job as well as the joy he felt at featuring at the Afcon finals and how the showpiece could hasten a move abroad.

“I feel great, because the coach gave me a task today to mark Salah,” he began.

“He’s a terrific guy and I was instructed to go with him if he cut inside [on his stronger left foot] or show him outside [to his weaker right foot]. That was the task for today.

“It was hard [dealing with Salah’s movements] so I had to communicate with my defensive midfield to be aware of the positions he was taking. It was about communication only.

“I wasn’t nervous. I’d been waiting for this moment for a long time to play at the Afcon. I wanted to prove myself.

“The competition is a good stepping stone as Afcon is better than Cosafa,” the left-back added.

“It is the biggest tournament in Africa, so this is a stepping stone for us to be seen outside the continent and secure moves abroad.”

The Warriors are currently bottom of Group A after their defeat by the host nation, with Uganda set to do battle with DR Congo on Saturday afternoon.

Chidzambwa’s troops will face the aforementioned teams on June 26 and June 30 respectively