Young Warriors in defence crisis

HARARE - Young Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa will have to work with a makeshift defence in Sunday’s first leg of the African Under-23 Championships final qualifier against South Africa at Rufaro Stadium.

Pasuwa has been forced to tinker with his backline since he has been deprived of regular starters Ronald Pfumbidzai, Liberty Chakoroma and Edwin Madhananga.

Pfumbidzai is unavailable after he reported for pre-season training with his new Danish side Hobro IK earlier this week.

Chakoroma is currently on a trial stint with South African Absa Premiership side Free State Stars.

Madhananga was given a week-long rest after suffering a concussion while playing for his club Flame Lilly against Harare City last weekend.

Highlanders defender Teenage Hadebe suffered an ankle injury on Wednesday during training and will have to be monitored if he can play against South Africa on Sunday.

Tino Kadewere, Marshal Mudewe and Jimmy Konono have also been ruled out of the tie due to injuries.

All this has resulted in Pasuwa having to come up with a new plan to thwart Owen da Gama’s charges.

“There is need for some major changes in our defence. We would have wanted these boys (Chakoroma, Madhananga and Hedebe) to partner in defence.

“As you know, they are the ones I used to work with for a long time in the last few matches.

“Our defence needs to be at its best if we want to beat South Africa as you know our opponents are very good when it comes to attacking.

“For the left back we are going to use midfielder Pritchard Mpelele or young Carlos Rusere, however, Hedebe still has the chance of making it on Sunday,” said Pasuwa.

The Young Warriors medical team is still monitoring the fitness of Nqobizitha Masuku and goalkeeper Cris Mverechena.

Despite the injuries Pasuwa, is still confident of his side producing a positive result in the first leg to give them a good chance of qualifying for the tournament to be held in Senegal at the end of the year.

“Getting into a game as a coach you will be always looking for positive results and for us we are looking for a better result.

“I always talk to my boys that they need to prove to us that they are national team material by performing well.

“I think by Sunday everyone will be raring to go and make the nation proud,” he said.

The former Dynamos coach is well aware of the rivalry between the two neighbours and feels it will have an impact on Sunday.

“I think there is also added pressure because of the long-standing rivalry we have with South Africa, even during our days it was there.

“Even some guys who are in South Africa are phoning us saying people here are talking too much and they have assembled a strong team so we must be prepared for a tough battle.”

The Young Warriors also received a major boost after FC Platinum’s duo of Walter Musona and Wisdom Mutasa, who were club hunting in Europe joined the camp.

“The fitness of these two boys has improved as I always told them that fitness is a very key component in football, they went to Europe and saw the same,” said Pasuwa.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.