Pasuwa cautious of Comoros

HARARE - Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa is not underrating lowly Indian Ocean opponents Comoros in tomorrow’s African Nations Championship (Chan) preliminary round qualifier.  

Zimbabwe, ranked 119 in the world, take on Les Coelecantes, who are ranked 190, in the tournament bespoke for only locally based players at Rufaro Stadium.

Although the Warriors will be looking for a result they hope will boost their chances of going to the next round, the former Dynamos coach said they would not throw caution to the wind in their quest to achieve such a result.

Pasuwa said his team does not afford to be complacent as the Comoros posed a big threat to Warriors’ charge.

“That’s one team I am afraid of especially in this kind of situation,” Pasuwa said yesterday’s morning training session at the match venue.

“Everybody is saying we are going to win. And we have also been pulling out results without even training and in this one everybody thinks it’s a walkover.

“But the truth is we need to pull up our socks. Remember what happened when we played Mauritius the last time. They came here and we drew when everyone was expecting an outright win.

“So it’s one area we need to work on to psyche up the boys to ensure we win on Sunday.

“We need to be very careful; remember these are international matches. We need to be very cautious when playing because we have also not had enough time to prepare so we need to be very careful.”

Pasuwa’s concerned can be understandable considering the Warriors only started their preparations for the encounter on Thursday.

With the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) leadership pre-occupied with boardroom politics, the locally-based Warriors’ preparations were ignored.

The players finally reported for camp on Wednesday evening and Pasuwa was only able to train with his squad on Thursday.

“All the players are here except for Edmore Chirambadare whose passport expired. I don’t think he will make it for this game. He is busy sorting out his papers,” he said.

Chirambadare’s absence will deprive the team of a natural goal scorer. The Chicken Inn forward is currently in irresistible form with eight goals in the Castle Lager Premiership.

Pasuwa said while he would have wanted more time with the players to work on combinations and tactical aspects, the team does not have excuses going into tomorrow’s tie.

“The preparations are not adequate but remember like what I have been saying that I am not one person who dwell much on blame games if we fail to win,” he said.

“We are getting into the field of play and we need to get a positive result. But again about combinations; we needed more days in camp to enable the boys to gel. We are playing these games like we are playing money games all the time.”

If the Warriors overcome Comoros, they will meet the winner of the preliminary round tie between Lesotho and Botswana in the first round of the qualifiers.

The 2016 Chan tournament will be held in Rwanda between January 16 and February 7. 

Zimbabwe have a good record in this competition having qualified for the previous three editions in Ivory Coast (2009), Sudan (2011) and South Africa (2014).

In South Africa, the Warriors under Ian Gorowa reached the semi-finals of the competition before losing to eventual winners Libya on penalties.

The tournament opened the doors for locally-based players George Chigova, Partson Jaure, Kuda Mahachi and Eric Chipeta sealing moves with Absa Premiership clubs.

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