Mhofu banks on Musona, Billiat

HARARE - Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa is excited by the form being shown by his forwards – Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona – ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Congo next month.

With injuries forcing some of the Warriors key players to withdraw from the important tie set for Brazzaville on September 9; Musona and Billiat’s displays are great news for Chidzambwa.

Billiat scored one while providing the other in Kaizer Chiefs’ 2-2 draw against SuperSport United on Sunday in the first leg of the two side’s MTN 8 semi-final clash.

While Billiat was the toast of the show in South Africa, in Belgium Musona, who joined Anderlecht from Oostende KV this summer, scored his first goal for the club albeit in a 2-1 defeat to Club Brugge in a league game at the weekend before being substituted on 65 minutes.

The former Kaizer Chiefs star has made five league appearances for Anderlecht which have yielded four wins and a defeat.

Chidzambwa is hoping the duo can transfer their stellar form to the national team.

“When you see what happened this weekend, Khama scoring and having an assist at the back of a superb performance and Musona scoring as well, it gives you that satisfaction and hope as a coach,” Chidzambwa told the Daily News yesterday.

“So, I’m not pessimistic about this department – strikeforce; we also have Evans Rusike, who can give good balls and also score and a number of youngsters who can naturally fit in. I think we will be able to score some goals in Congo.

“My hope is that these guys would be able to replicate the same form when they come for national duty.”

Injuries have forced the withdrawals of a number of players including France-based forward Tino Kadewere, midfielders Ovidy Karuru, Marvellous Nakamba and defender Costa Nhamoinesu out of the tie.

There are also doubts over the availability of the in-form Nyasha Mushekwi while the British-born Zimbabwean brigade of Tendayi Darikwa, Adam Chicksen and Kelly Lunga are yet to secure local passports.

Faced with the withdrawals and injuries, Chidzambwa and his technical team have roped in Golden Arrows pair of Knox Mutizwa and Danny Phiri, Bloemfontein Celtic defender Ronald Pfumbidzayi and Ngezi Platinum Stars captain Liberty Chakoroma into the provisional squad.

“Obviously we would love to have our all our best players available for this important fixture. But there is nothing really we can do, we will only have to do with those who are available,” Chidzambwa said.

The Warriors are expected to arrive for camp this weekend before getting to serious business on Monday.

Zimbabwe currently sits top of Group G on three points only ahead on goal difference against second placed Democratic Republic of Congo.

Warriors’ provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: George Chigova (Polokwane), Donovan Bernard (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank), Talbert Shumba (Chapungu)

Defenders: Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Tendayi Darikwa (Nottingham Forest), Alec Mudimu (Cefn Druids AFC), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Kevin Moyo (FC Platinum), Eric Chipeta (Cape Umoya United), Adam Chicksen (Bradford City), Byron Madzokerere (Yadah)

Midfielders: Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Talent Chawapiwa (Baroka), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates), Lucky Mkosana (Penn FC), Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum Stars)

Strikers: Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht), Evans Rusike (SuperSport), Kelly Lunga (SC Bonner), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Bidvest Wits), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Tinotenda Chibharo (FK Sloboda Uzice)

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