Lappe plots Warriors' downfall

HARARE - New Guinea coach Lappe Bangoura is planning to congest his midfield in the hope of starving the Warriors of possession during Sunday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group L qualifier.

This will be Lappe’s first competitive match after he was appointed Syli Nationale coach in July to replace Luis Fernandez, who quit the team in May.

Bangoura is basically on a rebuilding exercise and showed his hand last Tuesday night in the friendly international against Egypt in Alexandra.

The Syli Nationale held their own against the Pharaohs to emerge with a 1-1 draw after Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan had given the home side a first half lead before Alkhaly Bangoura equalised in the second period.

Lappe lined up his side in a 4-5-1 formation against the Pharaohs on Tuesday night as he tried to stifle the home side’s attack threat.

In goals, the veteran keeper Naby Yattara started. Bangoura Ibrahima Sory, Fode Camara, Sekou Conde and Alseny Bangoura were the defenders.

In midfield the Syli Nationale lined up with Ibrahima Soumah, Ibrahima Sankhon, Sadio Diallo, Alkhaly Bangoura and Lamah Joel.  

Alseny Camara Agogo played upfront as the lone striker.

For long periods, Guinea allowed the Pharaohs to enjoy all the possession while waiting to catch them on the break.  

Although they will be at home on Sunday, Lappe is likely to use the same tactic in the hope of frustrating Zimbabwe.

During these qualifiers, Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa has generally relied on the width provided by his wingers Marshall Mudehwe, Khama Billiat and Kuda Mahachi.

However, all three players are not available for Sunday’s match. Billiat has been rested while Mahachi suffered a hand fracture that has ruled him out for five weeks.

Mudehwe was also ruled out after he was hospitalised at the weekend following a road accident.

It will be interesting to see how Pasuwa is going to approach Sunday’s match without the trio, who have been central to his plans.

Generally, the Warriors coach tends to go for solidity at the back while giving his more offensive players the freedom to attack.

Injuries and the fact that Sunday’s match is effectively a dead rubber, since Zimbabwe have already qualified for the finals in Gabon next year, might force Pasuwa out of his comfort zone.

In goals, Tatenda Mukuruva is hugely expected to start ahead of Donovan Bernard and Nelson Chadya.

Sparta Prague defender Costa Nhamoinesu is assured of starting at centre half while his partner will be a toss between the Chicken Inn duo of Teenage Hadebe and Lawrence Mhlanga.

At left back, Onsimor Bhasera is shoo-in to start with Maritzburg United’s Blessing Moyo and Dynamos’ Godknows Murwira battling for the right back berth.

Captain Willard Katsande and Marvellous Nakamba are Pasuwa’s preferred central midfield partnership.

It is in the flanks where Pasuwa choices are very limited and will have to either rope in central midfielders Ronald Chitiyo or Tafadzwa Kutinyu.

Forwards Matthew Rusike and Knowledge Musona can also operate on the wings if required but their natural forte is down the middle.

Upfront, Pasuwa can go for red-hot Orlando Pirates forward Tendai Ndoro, Evans Rusike or Cuthbert Malajila.

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