Young Warriors squad named

HARARE - Mamelodi Sundowns winger Kuda Mahachi headlines a strong cast of a Young Warriors squad that will face South Africa in the 2016 Olympic Games qualifier.

The Zimbabwe Under-23 side will host South Africa next weekend at Rufaro Stadium for a first round, first leg assignment with the reverse fixture set for South Africa two weeks later.

Winner of the two-legged tie will compete at the African Under-23 Championships taking place in Dakar, Senegal from November 28 to December 15 this year.

The top three teams in Senegal will qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Mahachi, is one of the three foreign-based stars included in coach Calisto Pasuwa’s 24-man squad that was released by team manager Shariff Musa yesterday and is expected to go into camp on Monday.

The others are midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who plies his trade with Dutch Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem and Denmark-bound Ronald Pfumbidzayi.

Musa told the Daily News that all players are expected to report for camp on Monday while the foreign based stars could join the team on Tuesday.

FC Platinum pair of Wisdom Mutasa and Walter Musona’s availability will be confirmed later as they are out of the country on trials.

While Pasuwa named a strong squad, the 44-year-old coach might find the little time he will have for camp, the biggest undoing as they will have less than a week to prepare.

Young Warriors’ opponents South Africa have already gone into camp and coach Owen Da Gama and his players will have spent at least 12 days in camp by the time they troop into Rufaro for the match.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) will use the match to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the tragic National Sports Stadium disaster which killed 13 people in 2000.

Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said: “The Zimbabwe Football Association would like to inform the football fraternity and the nation at large that it is dedicating the Under 23 CAF Championship qualifier against South Africa to thirteen fans who perished in the year 2000 after a commotion that ensued during a match which involved Zimbabwe and South Africa senior teams at the National Sports Stadium.

"When the teams take to the field on Sunday, a minute of silence will be observed in honour of these lost souls before kick-off.”

Squad: Tatenda Mukuruva, Chris Mverechena, Donovan Bernard, Blessing Moyo, Carlos Rusere, Teenage Hadebe, Nqobizitha Masuku, Thomas Chideu, Knox Mutizwa, Marshal Mudewe, Lawrence Mhlanga, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Mgcini Sibanda, Tino Kadewere, Pritchard Mpelele, Jimmy Konono, Farai Madhanaga, Gerald Takwara, Malvin Gaki, Wisdom Mutasa, Walter Musona, Kuda Mahachi, Marvelous Nakamba, Ronald Pfumbidzayi

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