Mapeza backs national team

HARARE - Former Warriors coach Norman Mapeza is backing the national team to seal their qualification for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) when they face Liberia in a crucial qualifier in Monrovia on Sunday.

The Warriors currently sit on top of Group G with eight points from four matches while the DRC are second with five points from the same number of matches with Congo and Liberia tied on four points.

Sunday Chidzambwa’s charges are in a good position to qualify for the 2019 Afcon finals to be held in Cameroon next June-July as they need just a single win in the remaining two matches against Liberia (away) and Congo at home.

A win against Liberia could seal qualification for the first Afcon tournament that will feature 24 teams up from the usual 16 participants.

Apparently Warriors’ Afcon campaign started with an impressive 3-0 win over Liberia in the opening match of the tournament last year.

Skipper Knowledge Musona scored all the three goals that afternoon at the National Sports Stadium when Mapeza was in interim charge of the Warriors. And speaking ahead of the Warriors’ penultimate tie, Mapeza threw his weight behind Chidzambwa and his boys.

“We are all behind the national team. I wish them well. My wish is for all of us as a country to be celebrating. I hope after the match on Sunday we will all be celebrating our qualification for Afcon,” Mapeza said.

His side, FC Platinum has two players in the squad but Mapeza wants to provide even more players into the national team.

“I want to have more players in the national team. My wish is to have more players not only two. But at the end of the day I think we now have more guys who are
playing outside the country and wherever you go especially here in Africa first preference is given to foreign-based players,” he said.

Mapeza also spoke ahead of his team’s crowning moment tomorrow after retaining their title with two matches to spare saying their target is now to reach the 80 point mark.

The platinum miners are currently on 74 points and need to win their remaining two matches against Ngezi Platinum Stars and Highlanders to reach that target.

Meanwhile the Warriors are scheduled to hold their first training session today after arriving in Monrovia yesterday afternoon.


Goalkeepers: George Chigova (Polokwane City), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs)

Defenders: Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Kevin Moyo (FC Platinum), Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu), Talent Chawapihwa (Baroka), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht), Rodwell Chinyengetere (FC Platinum)

Strikers: Evans Rusike (SuperSport United), Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre AC)

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