Jan 9 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Nations Cup qualifiers Zimbabwe.
African Nations Cup record
Previous appearances in finals: (2) 2004, 2006
Best performance: Group phase
Drawn in Group B with Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia
Coach: Callisto Pasuwa
Former Zimbabwe international who had a successful playing career in domestic competition with Harare’s popular club Dynamos, winning multiple titles and qualifying for the group phase of the African Champions League.
As a coach he took Dynamos to four successive Zimbabwe premier league titles from 2011 to 2014 after moving up from a role as assistant and despite much initial scepticism.
First served as Zimbabwe’s under-23 coach before being promoted to the senior team job although he has previously threatened to quit because of non-payment of his wages.
This will be the 46-year-old’s first international tournament.
Key player: Knowledge Musona. Age: 26. Forward.
Musona was bought while still a teenager by the South African giants Kaizer Chiefs from an amateur outfit in Zimbabwe and proved an instant success in front of goal. Nicknamed ‘the Smiling Assassin’ by supporters.
Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim bought him in 2011 but he played sparingly in his first season, scored a lone cup goal and was loaned to Augsburg.
He went back to the Chiefs for a season and once his Hoffenheim contract ran out he joined Oostende in Belgium.
Musona was just 20-years-old when he made his national team debut and he has since scored 16 times for his country.
FIFA world ranking Dec. 2016: 102
How they qualified: First place in Group L, ahead of Swaziland, Guinea and Malawi.
Goalkeepers: Donovan Bernard (How Mine), Takabva Mawaya (Hwange), Tatenda Mukuruva (Dynamos)
Defenders: Onismor Bhasera (SuperSport United), Teenage Hadebe (Chicken Inn), Bruce Kangwa (Azam FC), Oscar Machapa (AS Vita Club), Lawrence Mhlanga (Chicken Inn), Elisha Muroiwa (Dynamos), Costa Nhamoinesu (Sparta Prague), Hardlife Zvirekwi (CAPS United)
Midfielders: Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns), Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Marvelous Nakamba (Vitesse Arnhem), Danny Phiri (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Mathew Rusike (CS Sfaxien)
Forwards: Tinotenda Kadewere (Djurgardens), Cuthbert Malajila (Bidvest Wits), Knowledge Musona (Oostende), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Tendai Ndoro (Orlando Pirates), Evans Rusike (Maritzburg United) (Compiled by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris)