Billiat back in Warriors squad

HARARE - Mamelodi Sundowns forward Khama Billiat makes a return into the Warriors fold after being included in a strong squad announced yesterday to face Tanzania in an international friendly match on Sunday at the National Sports Stadium.

Billiat missed the Warriors’ last Afcon qualifying match against Guinea in Conakry in September owing to his club’s congested commitments which prompted coach Kalisto Pasuwa to rest him for that game which was a dead-rubber.

But eager to assemble a competitive side for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Gabon in January next year, Pasuwa chose to stick with the majority of the players who have been doing duty in the qualifiers while roping in some few new faces.

Democratic Republic of Congo-based Oscar Machapa, Tanzania-based Bruce Kangwa were also recalled to the team.

Also to make it into the 23-member squad was Sweden-based Tinotenda Kadewere who ended the season in blistering form for Djurgardens IF with some important goals.

There were also places for CAPS United right back Hardlife Zvirekwi who missed the trip to Guinea following a suspension while Kuda Mahachi who was injured ahead of Warriors’ departure to Guinea is also back in the fold.

However, there were no places for Sparta Prague defender, Costa Nhamoinesu who is currently sidelined with a muscular injury.

The Maritzburg United pair of Evans Rusike and Blessing Moyo has also been ruled out with different ailments.

Pasuwa says while he would have wanted to have all his best players around, this is also an opportunity for those who have been called to show what they can offer.

“It is unfortunate that Costa (Nhamoinesu), Evans (Rusike) and Blessing (Moyo) are all out due to injuries as confirmed by their clubs but at the same time this will be an opportunity for other players to get more game time in international matches,” Pasuwa said.

Pasuwa has also not given up on his desire to incorporate the England-based pair of Macauley Bonne and Tendayi Darikwa who ply their trade for Colchester United and Burnley respectively. “We really needed them here (Bonne and Darikwa) but it seems they still have some complications with their identification documents which are currently being sorted out,” said Pasuwa.

“We are looking forward to having them join the team in future assignments.”

The Warriors’ match against Tanzania on Sunday will be the team’s second international friendly inside a week after the locally-based team dismissed Zambia 1-0 last weekend at the same venue.

Zimbabwe were pooled in a tough Group B for the Afcon tournament alongside African heavyweights Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia.

The Warriors definitely need all the help they can get to prepare to square up against these aristocrats of African football.

Warriors Squad:

Goalkeepers: Donovan Bernard (How Mine), Tatenda Mkuruva (Dynamos), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum)

Defenders: Onismor Bhasera (Supersport United), Hardlife Zvirekwi (CAPS United), Bruce Kangwa (Azam), Lawrence Mhlanga (Chicken Inn), Teenage Hadebe (Chicken Inn), Tendai Ndlovu (Highlanders), Oscar Machapa (AS Vita Club)

Midfielders: Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs), Marvelous Nakamba (Vitesse Arnhem), Marshall Mudehwe (FC Platinum), Raphael Kutinyu (Chicken Inn), Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Golden Arrows), Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Strikers: Knowledge Musona (KV Oostende), Mathew Rusike (Helsingborgs IF), Tendai Ndoro (Orlando Pirates), Cuthbert Malajila (Bidvest Wits), Tinotenda Kadewere (Djurgardens IF), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang)

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