Tino Kadewere is one player who has had very little luck in the Africa Cup of Nations finals.
In the 2017 edition in Gabon, the lanky striker was part of the Warriors squad named by then-coach Kalisto Pasuwa but did not feature in any of the group games before Zimbabwe were knocked out.
Pasuwa’s dice in the search for goals found Nyasha Mushekwi, Cuthbert Malajila, and Tendai Ndoro.
While he (Kadewere) was a promising striker back then, at just 21 years of age on the ranks of Swedish side Djuargardens, few complained that he did not get a chance, considering that even Evans Rusike, who back then was on fire for Maritzburg United and one of the most sought after strikers in South Africa at the time, also didn’t get much in terms of minutes.
Rusike came on as a replacement for Mathew Rusike, in the second half of the 0-2 defeat to Senegal and that was the only time he featured.
Kadewere would be in the squad again for the 2019 edition in Cairo, when legendary gaffer Sunday ‘Mhofu’ Chidzambwa took charge of his second AFCON finals in The Land of the Pharaohs.
Just like in 2017, Mushekwi got the nod ahead of Kadewere, with the Highfield-bred striker only getting a chance when he was introduced in the second half while the Warriors were trailing 0-3, in the last group game against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Kadewere was at Le Havre in France then.
After the biannual showpiece in Egypt ended, the former Harare City man then took the French Ligue 2 by storm- he scored goals for fun and earned a move to Ligue 1 side Olympic Lyon, where he burst on the scene like a house on fire, in his maiden season in the French top-flight.
Put simply, Kadewere has not really gotten a chance to lead the Warriors attack at AFCON.
However, all that might change at the next edition in Cameroon.
He is expected to lead the Warriors attack, as the team seeks to procced to the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time ever.
The nation will be hoping that the Kadewere of the 2020/21 season in France, whose solitary strike sunk a star-studded Paris Saint-Germain in their own backyard, will be the one on Cameroonian soil when the Warriors kick start their campaign against the Lions of Teranga on January 10.