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WARRIORS SUFFER BLOW

WARRIORS interim coach, Sunday Chidzambwa has been forced to make a change to his teams which travels to Namibia at the weekend for an African Nation Championship (Chan) qualifier after Terrance Dzukamanja was ruled out because of injury.

BY HENRY MHARA

Team manager, Wellington Mupandare yesterday said the Ngezi Platinum striker had a groin strain and been axed from the list that began camp yesterday.

“I have been advised by his team that he has a left groin strain and will only start light training next week Monday,” he said.

Dzukamanja has been replaced by ZPC Kariba striker, Francesco Zekumbawire.

Chidzambwa has kept the core of the team that won the Cosafa Castle Cup in South Africa at the weekend for the trip to Namibia, and given Black Rhinos goalkeeper, Herbert Rusawo his first national team call-up.

The veteran coach also included three players from Caps United — Ronald Chitiyo, Abbasi Amidu and Moses Muchenje — whom he left out for the Cosafa Castle Cup due to their club’s commitments in the Caf Champions League.

With the tournament only reserved for locally-based players, Cosafa stars such as Ovidy Karuru, Knox Mutizwa, George Chigova, Mitchell Katsvairo and Eric Chipeta, who all play professional football in South Africa, are ineligible.

Mupandare said the captain of the team would be named today, although it looks like Ocean Mushure, who was the team’s co-captain with Karuru at Cosafa, is the favourite to get the armband.

The Warriors face the Brave Warriors in Windhoek in the Chan Southern Zone first round first leg qualifier at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Sunday, before the return match in Harare seven days later.

Namibia, who crashed out of the Cosafa Castle Cup at the group stage, have been busy preparing for the match since.

Their coach, Ricardo Mannetti, hopes to have free agents Hendrick Somaeb and Petrus Shitembi available for selection for the match.

The pair, who turned out for Jomo Cosmos and Stellenbosch, respectively, in South Africa’s second-tier league up to the end of last season, are part of the squad preparing for the match while their paperwork is being finalised.

Additionally, Mannetti can bank on the availability of Absalom Iimbondi and Roger Katjiteo, who returned from spells in the Botswana Premier League.

“These players can boost the locally-based guys with their experience,” said Mannetti, whose first 11 will see many of those, who were on the fringes during the Cosafa Cup tournament handed starts.

The winner of this clash will meet either Lesotho or Comoros in the final round qualifier for the tournament to be played in Kenya next year.

Warriors squad:

Goalkeepers: Takabva Mawaya (Ngezi Platinum), Herbert Rusawo (Black Rhinos)

Defenders: Ocean Mushure, Obey Mwerahari (Dynamos), Devine Lunga (Chicken Inn), Jimmy Dzingai, Dennis Dauda (Yadah FC), Jimmy Tigere (Harare City)

Midfielders: Moses Muchenje, Ronald Chitiyo (Caps United), Gerald Takwara, Talent Chawapihwa (FC Platinum), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum), Emmanuel Mandiranga (Dynamos), Raphael Manuvire (ZPC Kariba)

Strikers: Abbas Amidu (Caps United), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Francesco Zekumbawire (ZPC Kariba)

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