Mahachi blow for Warriors

HARARE - Zimbabwe were dealt a huge blow yesterday ahead of Sunday’s 2015 African Nations Cup preliminary qualifier against Tanzania with the news that winger Kuda Mahachi will miss the tie with an ankle injury.

The Warriors trail the Taifa Stars 1-0 from the first leg in Dar es Salaam two weeks ago and must win Sunday’s reverse fixture at the National Sports Stadium by two clear goals.

Failure will see the Warriors crash out of the qualifiers in the preliminary stages. The 2015 Afcon finals will be held in Morocco early next year.

Injuries have been a major stumbling block to coach Ian Gorowa’s plans for this match with star players Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat, who also missed the first leg, failing to recover in time for the make-or-break tie.

Gorowa’s injury woes mounted yesterday after Mahachi, theWarriors’ star performer at the African Nations Championships (Chan) tournament in South Africa early this year, being added to the sick bey. 

The Highlanders midfielder had travelled to Namibia with his new club Mamelodi Sundowns last week and joined the Warriors camp on Tuesday evening with a swollen ankle.

Warriors team manager Sharrif Mussa yesterday said the Bosso wizard has no chance of recovering in time for Sunday’s match.

“Our doctors assessed him when he arrived and they said we cannot risk him by playing him on Sunday,” Mussa told the Daily News yesterday.

“He must have picked up the injury sometime last week and there is no way he can play against Tanzania.”

Gorowa will also have to do without midfielder Peter Moyo, who also has an ankle sprain.

The Highlanders midfielder picked up the injury in Sunday’s league match against Buffaloes in Mutare.

Mussa is now hoping Al Ahly Benghazi striker Edward Sadomba will arrive in the country today in time for Sunday’s match.

Sadomba’s trip to Harare has been complicated by flight restrictions out of Libya following the political unrest that rocked the North African country in the last few years.  

Meanwhile, defender Partson Jaure, who is the stand-in captain in the absence of injured substantive skipper Carrington Nyadombo, insisted the Warriors will make life uncomfortable for the Taifa Stars on Sunday.

“It will be a tough match but we are going to work as a team to make sure that we qualify for the next round,” Jaure told the Daily News.

“We didn’t know much about Tanzania before the first leg but after that game we observed carefully how they play.

“You should not give them a lot of space. If we press them high up the pitch they will struggle to play their normal game.

“They also have some very fast wingers and we need to make sure that we monitor all their runs so that they do not get behind our defensive line.

“In the first leg we were slow to get their tactics. They played short passes before going for the long ball, but now we are well aware of how they play so we will not give them any room to do what they did in Dar es Salaam.”

Jaure assured the team’s fans that the Warriors will overcome the Taifa Stars’ lead from the first leg.

“Our fans should not worry. They must come in their large numbers and I assure them we will beat Tanzania to qualify for the next round,” said the Dynamos defender.

“We have to prevent from scoring an away goal. If they are able to get an away goal it will be hard for us.”

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protestor - 29 May 2014

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