Warriors seek to salvage pride

RUBAVU - Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa yesterday revealed he will ring changes in this afternoon’s final African Nations Championships (Chan) Group D match against Uganda at Umuganda Stadium.

The Warriors are already out of the tournament and face Uganda hoping to salvage some lost pride by ending the disappointing campaign with at least a win following identical 1-0 defeats to Zambia and Mali in their opening two matches.

Zimbabwe, who finished fourth at the last edition of the tournament in South Africa two years ago, found the going tough and remain rooted at the bottom of Group D with neither a goal nor a point.

Uganda, on the other hand, are hoping to win and force their way into the quarterfinals.

The Cranes will, however, be hoping that Mali lose to Zambia in the other Group D match which will be played in Kigali.

Both matches will kick off at 4pm.

Pasuwa noted that while the Warriors were desperate for the three points, he was also going to give a run to other fringe players who did not get the feel of the Rwandan turf in the opening two matches.

“The important thing is for us to play that game to win. Remember we haven’t scored a goal, we haven’t won in the tournament and this is an opportunity for us to do better,” Pasuwa said.

“We also want to see other guys who didn’t play in the opening two matches. It’s an opportunity for them to show what they can offer.

“I think we have (Bruce) Kangwa, (Raphael) Manuvire and (Joel) Ngodzo who did not play in the first two matches.

“Those three are definitely going to start, then we will see what happens to the other players who also didn’t feature in the other games.”

Pasuwa said getting the goals remains a priority.

“We need to go into this match with only one target which is to win.

“We want to go there and get the goals. I think we need to attack so that the goals can come. We are not sitting back and we are hoping this time we will get it right,” he added.

“But we also need to be careful because Uganda are a good side.

“They are a physical team, play with two strikers and very quick on the break. So we need to neutralise them.

“Remember, we played them at the previous Chan tournament and the match ended in a draw. It was a very close affair and we are expecting another tight match against them.

“There is no need for mistakes because once you do that you are punished.

Pasuwa added: “We have been working on our shortcomings, especially on the left side of our defence where the two goals came from. I am sure there is going to be an improvement this time around.

Uganda coach Milutin Sredojevic has acknowledged that Zimbabwe remain a good side and expects a close battle.

If Uganda beat Zimbabwe convincingly and Mali lose to group leaders Zambia, the Cranes will proceed to the quarterfinals. Uganda are currently in third place with one point.

“We respect Zimbabwe because they are a good side. I believe both teams do not deserve to be where they are at the moment. We are expecting a very tight and competitive match,” Sredojevic said.

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