Cameroon beckons!


THE Warriors, Zimbabwe senior men’s soccer team, are in Kinshasa, the DRC, ahead of the decisive Group G match against hosts at the Stade des Martyrs tomorrow evening.
The national team left Harare for the DRC capital on Wednesday night for the crucial tie.
Hosts have named a strong side for the two back-to-back fixtures. The reverse fixture will be played on Tuesday evening in Harare.
Stakes are high in the match as the winner of the two ties claims rights to top Group G. The nations are tied on four points with Zimbabwe enjoying a superior goal difference. The Warriors have scored four goals and conceded one while DRC have scored an equal number of goals but let in two goals.
Zimbabwe will be fighting on two fronts — history and playing away from home.
Head-to-head record between the two nations favours the DRC while Zimbabwe will be seeking to turn the tables. A draw in Kinshasa will be good enough for them to collect maximum points in Harare.
Most of the players called to do duty travelled, save for a few who are nursing injuries. Centre-back Devine Lunga could not join camp as he is nursing an injury, but Ronald Pfumbidzayi can replace the talented defender. Nyasha Mushekwi and Costa Nhamoinesu have also been sidelined owing to injuries.
The good news is that the travelling party are certified fit for the game.
Warriors skipper Knowledge Musona and Marvelous Nakamba jetted in hours before departure to Kinshasa on Tuesday afternoon. Nakamba missed the match against the Congo in Brazzaville.
The Warriors welcome Nakamba’s return in the middle-of-the-park as he is likely to combine with Khama Billiat and speedy merchant Talent Chawapiwa.
The midfield might be coach Sunday Chidzambwa’s headache as there is vast talent.
Former Chicken Inn holding midfielder Danny ‘Deco’ Phiri might be the linkman for the defence while Nakamba plays an attacking role. Chawapiwa’s pace will be needed in the wings to supply crosses for the strikers.
Ovidy Karuru is another option in the midfield together with Orlando Pirates’ Marshal Munetsi.
Tafadzwa Kutinyu is another gem available for selection subject to the technical team’s playing formation.
Mhofu, as Chidzambwa is affectionately known, is a former defender and his football philosophy centres on a strong defence.
In the absence of Nhamoinesu and Eric Chipeta, Teenage Hadebe and Kevin Moyo might be used to provide cover as twin centre-backs. Tendayi Darikwa and Alec Mudimu are other defence options for the match that Mhofu may use for the Kinshasa job.
George Chigova is the likely goalkeeper for the day as the Polokwane City’s Number One is in fine form.
Upfront, Mhofu has three bullets in Musona, Knox Mtizwa and Terrence Dzvukamanja. Musona might play behind Mtizwa or Dzvukamanja depending who will be playing first.
Chidzambwa might opt for his favourite defensive 4-4-2 formation.
Chidzambwa was quoted in the media emphasising on the need to get a good away result in order to broaden Zimbabwe’s chances of qualifying.
“If we can pull through a good result away in the DRC, I think we will be on the verge of qualifying. Anything short of a good result means we have to fight hard in the second leg.
“But it will be better for us to get a good result away from home and that will make life easier for us when we play them home next week,” said Chidzambwa.
Hosts DRC have a strong team after calling all their European-based stars Yannick Bolasie, Aston Villa forward, Arthur Masuaku who plays for West Ham and China-based Cedric Bakambu, among others.
Other Group G teams that will be in action over the weekend are Liberia and Congo who still have mathematical chances of leading the group if Zimbabwe and the DRC have two draws.
Zimbabwe are in a commanding position, but tomorrow’s outcome will shape their AFCON destiny. In the last edition’s qualifiers, Zimbabwe qualified with a game to spare under the guidance of Kalisto Pasuwa.
George Chigova – Polokwane City
Edmore Sibanda – Witbank Spurs
Tendayi David Darikwa – Nottingham Forest
Alec Takunda Mudimu – CEFN Druids AFC
Byron Madzokere – Yadah Stars
Tapiwa Ronald Pfumbidzai – Bloemfontein Celtic
Teenage Lingani Hadebe – Kaizer Chiefs
Kevin Njabulo Moyo – FC Platinum
Marshal Nyasha Munetsi – Orlando Pirates
Tafadzwa Raphael Kutinyu – Azam
Danny Phiri – Lamontville Golden Arrows
Ovidy Karuru – Amazulu
Marvelous Nakamba – Club Brugge KV
Khama Billiat – Kaizer Chiefs
Talent Chawapihwa – Baroka
Knowledge Musona – RSC Anderlecht
Knox Mutizwa – Lamontville Golden Arrows
Terrence Dzvukamanja – Bidvest Wits


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