Pasuwa puts faith in Tsipa

HARARE - Leonard Tsipa’s scoring prowess for CAPS United this season has earned him a national team recall after he was included in coach Kalisto Pasuwa’s squad to face Zambia in an international friendly tomorrow.

Tsipa, has notched 12 goals to propel Makepekepe to the top of the PSL table, leading second-placed FC Platinum by two points with only two matches left before the season ends.

The 35-year-old’s exploits have not gone unnoticed as he was included in a 20-man squad of locally-based players that was announced yesterday to face Zambia at the National Sports Stadium.

The match kicks off at 4pm. 

Pasuwa’s selection for the Zambia game was limited to local players as the match falls outside the prescribed Fifa calendar.

The Fifa international match calendar allows clubs to release players from November 7 to 15 which means Pasuwa will only be able to pick his strong team for the match against Tanzania on November 13.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, Pasuwa, however, welcomed the development saying it gives him an opportunity to assess some of the local-based players who could make it into his squad for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon.

“We have been using some of these players in our Afcon qualifiers and it’s part of preparations with the local boys so that we can assess who can fit well in the squad for Gabon,” Pasuwa said.

“Some of these boys played a part in the Afcon qualifiers, Cosafa and Chan games and this is one game to strengthen them in order to get them ready for tougher assignments.

“Here it’s not a question of being happy (with the quality of opponents) but to play something.

“This is the only chance for me to assess the players. I have been told by the president (Philip Chiyangwa) that we will play opponent from West Africa as part of our preparations.”

Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa yesterday said the Warriors will have more friendly matches ahead of the Afcon finals in Gabon.

“Zimbabwe will play Côte d’Ivoire on December 26 in Abidjan,” Chiyangwa said.

“One thing we need to take into account is that our economy is bleeding. There is an economic meltdown even some of the media organisations are not paying their workers. We don’t have the luxury of having everything at our hands.

“So, this is what we have organised so far and we are going to have more friendly matches coming. I have agreed to the Côte d’Ivoire game because it affords the coach a wider selection of players as it will be during the festive season.

“So possibly, the team that Côte d’Ivoire will field is the team that will go to Gabon. You know Côte d’Ivoire, they are up there in terms of world rankings.” 

Pasuwa is now expected to name his squad which will include foreign-based players for the Tanzania friendly international on Tuesday.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Tatenda Mkuruva (Dynamos), Donovan Bernard (How Mine)

Defenders: Godknows Murwira (Dynamos), Hardlife Zvirekwi, Ronald Pfumbidzayi (CAPS United), Honest Moyo (Highlanders), Lawrence Mhlanga, Teenage Hadebe (Chicken Inn)

Midfielders: Tendai Ndlovu (Highlanders), Farai Madhanaga, Ronald Chitiyo (Harare City), James Mukombwe (Chapungu), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Chicken Inn), Talent Chawapiwa (ZPC Kariba), Malvin Gaki (Triangle)

Strikers: Pritchard Mpelele, Gift Mbweti (Hwange), Leonard Tsipa (CAPS United), Roderick Mutuma (Dynamos), William Manondo (Harare City)

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