Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

South Africa-based players dominate Warriors squad

By Ricky Zililo

Four locally-based players — goalkeeper Petros Mhari, defender Godknows Murwira and the midfield pair of Richard Hachiro and Leeroy Mavhunga made it into the Warriors’ provisional squad for the must-win Afcon qualifier against Congo on March 24.

Khama Billiat
Khama Billiat

Zimbabwe top Group G with eight points from five games and only a point stands between them and qualification heading into the final encounter.

The Warriors are a point ahead of second-placed Liberia, who take on third-placed DR Congo, who are on six points.

It’s an open group, with Congo, who are on five points, mathematically in the race to qualify as the top two sides will go through to the Afcon finals to be held in Egypt.

Warriors’ coach Sunday Chidzambwa yesterday named Mhari, who has had a good campaign for FC Platinum in the Caf Champions League, his teammate Murwira, Hachiro of Herentals and Yadah’s Mavhunga in his 28-member squad.

Social media commentators questioned the inclusion of Hachiro and Mavhunga, alleging that they are being rewarded for the benevolence of their teams to Zifa.

Yadah, which is owned by Prophet Walter Magaya, have been Zifa’s all-weather friends, assisting the national association with accommodation for the national team. Herentals on the other hand have had their buses used by the national football association.

Mhari will compete with George Chigova of Polokwane City and Edmore Sibanda, who has been making on-and-off appearances for Witbank Spurs in the South African National First Division.

There was no place for South Africa-based goalkeeper, Elvis Chipezeze, who has been in terrific form for Baroka where he has played almost all his team’s games.

Lamontville Golden Arrows’ pair of midfielder Danny Phiri and left-back Divine Lunga, who missed the Warriors’ last Afcon 0-1 loss to Liberia in November last year due to injury, have been recalled.

The pair have been good performers at their club alongside striker, Knox Mutizwa, who also received a call-up.

Defender Jimmy Dzingai, who is enjoying the time of his life at Zambian side Power Dynamos coached by Kelvin Kaindu, has been included in the squad that is dominated by South Africa-based players.

Dzingai will challenge for a place in central defence where Chidzambwa played Teenage Hadebe of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates’ Marshal Munetsi.

Completing the list of defenders called up are right-back Tendayi Darikwa, who plies his trade in England for Nottingham Forest in the second tier, Wales-based Alec Mudimu and Bloemfontein Celtics’ Ronald Pfumbidzai.

German-based Kelvin Lunga received his first national team call-up, while former Tsholotsho FC central midfielder Butholezwe Ncube, who plays for Durban side AmaZulu, has been given another opportunity to add to his national team caps.

Some familiar faces that have been called up include Orlando Pirates’ Kudakwashe Mahachi, skipper Knowledge Musona, midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and Evans Rusike. The Chronicle

Warriors’ provisional squad

Goalkeepers:

George Chigova (Polokwane City, South Africa), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs, South Africa), Petros Mhari (FC Platinum)

Defenders:

Divine Lunga (Lamontville Golden Arrows, South Africa), Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids, Wales), Tendayi Darikwa (Nottingham Forest, England), Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic, South Africa), Godknows Murwira (FC Platinum)

Midfielders:

Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam, Tanzania), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge KV, Belgium), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah Stars), Knowledge Musona (KSC Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium), Ovidy Karuru, Butholezwe Ncube and Talent Chawapihwa (all AmaZulu, South Africa), Kelvin Lunga (SV Rodinghausen, Germany), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Danny Phiri (Lamontville Golden Arrows, South Africa)

Strikers:

Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre AC, France), Evans Rusike (SuperSport United, South Africa), Admiral Muskwe (Leicester City, England), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Abbas Amidu (Arar, Saudi Arabia)

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