By Petros Kausiyo
Zimbabwe and Botswana will renew their rivalry, five years after their last meeting, when the Warriors and the Zebras face off in the President’s Cup tie at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
The match will be part of this country’s 38th Independence Anniversary festivities and has since been sanctioned by FIFA.
Despite the game receiving the nod, it falls outside of the FIFA calendar for internationals, which has meant that both Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa and Zebras gaffer David Bright could only call on their locally-based troops for the encounter.
Chidzambwa yesterday named a 21- man squad that includes two of the players – Chicken Inn’s Devine Lunga and ZPC Kariba goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya – who were in his Warriors squad at the Four-Nation invitational in Zambia last month.
Botswana are set to travel with an 18-man side of locals.
Bright indicated to the media in Botswana he was looking at using the bulk of the side that edged Lesotho 1-0 two weeks ago.
“I will not be calling any players based abroad due to a congested domestic programme. It is an important match between the two countries.
“The majority of the players who featured against Lesotho will travel to Harare,” Bright said.
With little time for preparations, Bright said the Zebras will fly out of Gaborone today.
The Zebras coach faces selection limitations with the Botswana Premier League reaching its business end as there are seven matches before the top-flight’s 2017-18 season winds up.
In contrast, the Warriors are bracing for Week Seven of the 2018 season and it has also come as no surprise that early pacesetters Ngezi Platinum provide five players, including goalkeeper Donovan Bernard, who marks his return to the national along with Liberty Chakoroma.
The other players from Tonderai Ndiraya’s unbeaten Mhondoro miners are the striking pair of Clive Agusto and Terrence Dzukamanja and midfielder Michael Charamba.
Chidzambwa, whose Warriors are ranked 108 and 41 places above the Zebras on the FIFA rankings, will be using such matches to widen the coach’s selection options for next month’s COSAFA Castle Cup.
Giants Dynamos may be struggling to kick-start their 2018 season but the Glamour Boys have their captain Ocean Mushure and creative midfielder Raphael Manuvire in the side while other familiar faces in the home-based Warriors include Yadah Stars’ exciting winger Leeroy Mavhunga, defender Peter Muduhwa of Highlanders and FC Platinum’s Farai Madhanhanga.
Goalkeepers: Takabva Mawaya (ZPC Kariba); Donovan Bernard (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Defenders: Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders); Steven Makatuka (CAPS United); Kevin Moyo (FC Platinum); Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars); Macclive Phiri; Honest Moyo (Highlanders) Devine Lunga (Chicken Inn)
Midfielders: Winston Mhango (FC Platinum); Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum Stars); Innocent Mucheneka (Chicken Inn); Michael Charamba (Ngezi Platinum Stars); Ian Nyoni (Chapungu); Ocean Mushure (Dynamos); Raphael Manuvire (Dynamos); Farai Madhanaga (FC Platinum); Leeroy Mavhunga (Yadah Stars)
Strikers: Clive Augusto (Ngezi Platinum Stars); Ishmael Wadi (Bulawayo City); Terrence Dzukamanja (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Goitseone Phoko; Bophelo Kealeboga; Lesego Keredilwe; Thato Kebue; Tshepo Maikano; Tapiwa Gadibolae; Thero Setsile; Lesenya Ramoraka; Alphonse Modisaotsile; Gape Mohutsiwa; Thatayaone Witness Kgamanyane; Kobamelo Kebaikanye; Onkabetse Makgantai; Kabelo Seakanyeng; Gift Moyo; Keeagile Kobe; Tebogo Sembowa; Ontiretse Jerome; Otto Ramatlhakwana. Coach: David Bright