We'll soldier on – Katsande

HARARE - Zimbabwe captain Willard Katsande says his charges will put behind all their troubles to get a positive result against Malawi this afternoon in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.   

The Warriors, who had refused to board a plane for Blantyre on Thursday afternoon, finally left for the Malawian capital by road yesterday shortly before noon.

The team was expected to arrive in Blantyre this morning around 12am with kick-off scheduled for 14:30 at Kamuzu Stadium.

Today’s match had been marred by coach Calisto Pasuwa’s refusal to announce the squad for the tie as he had not been paid any money by the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) since his appointment on an interim basis last year.

Pasuwa agreed to announce the team after the intervention of Sports minister Andrew Langa on Tuesday.

The Warriors only trained on Wednesday before the drama began to unfold on Thursday when the players refused to board their plane as they demanded their allowances and appearance fees upfront.

Walter Magaya, leader of the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance ministries, came to Zifa’s rescue and paid the players’ demands in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Despite all these problems, Katsande, who was handed the Warriors armband on Wednesday, feels they will conquer in Blantyre this afternoon.

“Problems are always there in life and at times we need to be mentally strong to overcome them,” he said.

“As professional players we have travelled to many different countries in Africa and we have received some bad treatment at the hands of our hosts but we managed to grind out results.

“At the moment no one is giving us a chance because of what has happened throughout the week but we do have a good squad and tomorrow we will surprise a lot of those Doubting Thomases.”

A miffed Pasuwa said: “We are going to try our level best to get a positive result. We will try to motivate the players but the fatigue will come into play.

“We will try to do our level best to get a positive result. I will not speak much about our preparations and travelling conditions. I will leave that to the Zifa administrators.”  

While the Warriors camp was characterised by chaos, Malawi left no stone unturned in preparation for this match.

The Flames have been in camp since last month with coach Young Chimodzi using the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup in South Africa to fine tune his squad.

On Monday night, Malawi took on record African champions Egypt in a international friendly mach in Cairo which they lost 2-1.

Comments (1)

Well done warriors beating Malawi 2-1. We need 12 points from Malawi and Swaziland and force a draw in Guinea. Our group is one of few that a best second in a group can go through via back door.

X-MAN IV - 13 June 2015

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