By Robson Sharuko
Macauley Bonne was set to start his pre-season adventure with English Championship side Charlton Athletic yesterday, if things had gone otherwise, he would be here with his Warriors preparing for the second 2019 AFCON Group A showdown against Uganda tomorrow.
That the 23-year-old highly-rated sharp-shooter is probably the biggest missing link as the Warriors plot to qualify for the knock-out stages of the tournament for the first time was felt in the opening match against the Pharaohs where the national team struggled for a cutting edge upfront.
Nyasha Mushekwi was thrust into the role of main striker in that match, but without the supply to feast on and usually cutting a lone figure upfront, he didn’t make a big impression against the disciplined Egyptian defence well marshalled by the excellent and imposing Ahmed Hegazy of West Bromwich Albion.
The absence of a creative midfielder in the Warriors’ team like the retired Ronald “Gidiza’’ Sibanda, has always been an Achilles Heel for the Warriors and a cancer that has destroyed many good strikers who seemingly play well for their teams, but struggle badly when they wear the national team jersey.
The irony of it all is that the players, who have scored most of their goals for the Warriors in the past decade, have been the two men who do not play as out-and-out strikers — skipper Knowledge Musona and fellow forward Khama Billiat.
The duo scored nine of the 10 goals the Warriors scored in their 2019 AFCON qualifiers, with leftback Ronald Pfumbidzai the only other Warrior on target. The Herald