Chidzambwa tinkers with Warriors squad

HARARE - In a desperate bid to overturn a first leg 0-1 defeat suffered at the hands of Namibia in a 2018 Kenya African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifier, Warriors interim coach Sunday Chidzambwa has been forced to tinker with his team ahead of this weekend’s decisive return leg.

The Warriors, who are bidding for a fifth straight appearance at the Chan tournament, saw their campaign get off to a false start after succumbing to a Hendrik Somaeb second half strike that gave the Brave Warriors an upper hand going into the return leg.

Chidzambwa and his charges now hope to salvage their campaign when they host the Brave Warriors at the National Sports Stadium at the weekend to ensure a smooth passage to the final round.

And in trying to get the required result, the ZPC Kariba gaffer roped in FC Platinum goalkeeper Petros Mhari to join Black Rhinos’ Herbert Rusawo and Takabva Mawaya of Ngezi Platinum Stars, who were the only two goalkeepers to travel to Namibia for the first leg.

Dynamos defender Obey Mwerahari, who earned a surprise call-up to the team that travelled to Namibia, was dropped while accommodating How Mine’s defensive pair of Milton Ncube and Praise Tonha as well as Peter Muduwa from Highlanders and Jameson Mukombwe from Rhinos.

In midfield, CAPS United’s Moses Muchenje, who started in Namibia had to give way for his teammate Devon Chafa, while Ronald Chitiyo ,who was replaced at the last minute by Denver Mukamba due to his father’s illness, is back in the fold. 

FC Platinum’s Marshal Mudehwe, Highlanders’ Simon Munawa, Innocent Mucheneka of Chicken Inn as well as Yadah’s Leeroy Mavunga have also been called in an expanded squad of 25 players which is scheduled to resume preparations this morning at Yadah Hotel Complex.

Gerald Takwara, who played an important role in Warriors’ successful Cosafa Castle Cup tournament, was also dropped as he appeared exhausted and there was no room again for Dynamos midfielder Emmanuel Mandiranga, who was a surprise choice for the first leg.

In his assessment to the defeat, Chidzambwa noted with concern that his charges underestimated their opponents which backfired horribly and as a result they had to freshen up the squad with new faces as they are desperate to win by two clear goals. 

“Basically, it was a very difficult match for us. We created very few chances and we failed to turn them into goals apart from the disallowed goal by Francesco Zekumbawire, which I strongly feel was legitimate and should have stood,” Chidzambwa told the Daily News upon the team’s arrival from Namibia yesterday.

“I feel there was a bit of complacency on our boys because most of them did not perform like what they normally do. As a result, we paid dearly and we now need to work even harder to ensure that we beat them at home.

“So, we have brought in some new players and dropped others. We hope those we have included will give us exactly what we are looking for.”

Although Chidzambwa remains optimistic about his team’s chances of reaching next year’s finals, he was quick to emphasis the need for the right attitude by the players.

“It now depends with the attitude of the boys. But obviously, it’s not going to be easy. Remember this is Namibia’s best team that we were facing and they are really a strong side, so we really need to work hard,” he said.

The winner between Zimbabwe and Namibia over the two legs will proceed to the final round of the qualifiers to meet either Comoros or Lesotho.

Comoros are favourites to progress to the next round after a deserved 2-0 victory over Lesotho on Saturday.

Zimbabwe have qualified for all four previous Chan tournaments since its inception in 2009 and are gunning for as fifth straight appearance at the competition which is reserved for players plying their trade in local leagues.


Goalkeepers: Petros Mhari, Takabva Mawaya, Herbert Rusawo

Defenders: Dennis Dauda, Jimmy Dzingai, Jimmy Tigere, Devine Lunga, Ocean Mushure, Milton Ncube, Praise Tonha, Peter Muduwa, Jameson Mukombwe

Midfielders: Marshal Mudehwe, Ronald Chitiyo, Innocent Mucheneka, Simon Munawa, Devon Chafa, Leeroy Mavunga, Liberty Chakoroma, Raphael Manuvire, Talent Chawapiwa, Denver Mukamba

Strikers: Abbas Amidu, Francesco Zekumbawire, Prince Dube

Comments (2)

now l shall not speak

Zulu kaNdaba. - 19 July 2017

Go warriors Go!!

archie - 20 July 2017

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