Warriors begin preps

HARARE - Zimbabwe will begin preparations for Sunday’s African Nations Cup qualifier against Angola in earnest today following the awaited arrival of several foreign-based players from their respective bases abroad.
 
By last night, the only foreign- based players that had reported for camp were defender Arnold Chaka of Botswana side Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Black Leopards forward Abbas Amidu, who was signed by the Venda-based club from Kaizer Chiefs at the beginning of the new South African season.

The Warriors take on the Palancas Negras at Rufaro Stadium hoping for a comfortable lead ahead of the second leg slatted for Luanda in a fortnight.

Winner of the two-legged final qualifier will progress to the 2013 African Nations Cup finals in South Africa next January.

Zimbabwe last qualified for the Nations Cup in 2006 in Egypt, their second appearance at Africa’s premier football competition.

The Warriors have failed to qualify for the last three editions of the event in a six-year spell riddled with a match-fixing scandal and internal squabbling, among other wrangles which brought the local game to its knees.

It was a slow start to the training camp for the Warriors yesterday with the bulk of foreign-based stars only expected to jet in today.

Captain Tapuwa Kapini and his Amazulu teammate Carrington Nyadombo arrive today alongside Quincy Antipas, Takesure Chinyama, Esrom Nyandoro and Oscar Machapaare.

There was an injury concern to goalkeeper Kapini, but team manager Nyika Chifamba said the former Black Aces and Highlanders stopper is still being assessed.

“We requested that he should be released and I spoke to the coach yesterday. He was worried and the club didn’t want to release him because he had not been certified fit by their doctors,” Chifamba said.

“The coach finally agreed and said he is going to come and he will be assessed by our medical team when he arrives.”

Kapini injured his ankle during a training session with his South African Premiership club AmaZulu and has been out of action ever since.

Germany-based Knowledge Musona, whose availability was in doubt until last week, is expected to arrive in the country from his club FC Augsburg tomorrow.

Musona sensationally quit the national team three months ago after Zifa appeared to link him to match-fixing activities in the Warriors’ World Cup qualifiers against Guinea and Mozambique last June.
 
The Warriors kingpin, however, made an about-turn last week and unconditionally availed himself, having initially demanded a public apology from Zifa as a condition for his comeback to the team.

Some of the locally-based players who had reported for camp by last night were the Highlanders trio of Peter “Rio” Moyo, Innocent Mapuranga and Ariel Sibanda.

They were also joined by George Chigova and Denver Mukamba of Dynamos alongside the Castle Premiership’s top goal-scorer Nelson Maziwisa of Shabanie Mine and Hwange’s Rodwell Chinyengetere.

FC Platinum’s Donald Ngoma was still on his way from Zvishavane while the Motor Action pair of Passmore Bernard and Marlon Jani were traveling from Bulawayo, where they played Highlanders over the weekend.

Romania-based forward mike Temwanjira has, however, been ruled out of the match through injury.

The FC Vaslui player, who last featured for the Warriors back in 2008, has been side lined by a calf injury.

Meanwhile, Angola coach Gustavo Ferrin last week called up a 23-man squad made up of 16 locally-based players and  seven internationally-based stars.

ANGOLA SQUAD


Vado, Adawa, Carlitos, Landu, Miguel, Lama, Mingo Bille, Amaro, Danny Massunguna, Fabricio, Pirolito, Castro, Yano, Lunguinha, Manuel, Manucho Gonçalves, Djalma Campos, Gilberto, Nando Rafael, Zwela, Mateus Galiano, Dominique Kivuvu.


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