By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
The Warriors’ African Nations Championship first round first-leg match against Mauritius that was set for yesterday was postponed to this afternoon due to a water logged pitch at the New George V Stadium in Curepipe.
The match will now take place at The Auguste Vollaire Stadium at 10AM Zimbabwe time.
“Mauritius versus Zimbabwe Chan match fixture postponed to tomorrow (today). Pitch is waterlogged,” said Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela.
Warriors’ coach Rahman Gumbo, who scored at the George V Stadium when Zimbabwe beat Mauritius 1-0 in 1992 in an Afcon qualifier, said they had prepared for the possible cancellation of the match and hence were not mentally affected by the decision to postpone the game to today.
“We somehow expected this eventuality because we could see that it was almost impossible for the water to subside when we conducted our final training session. So the new venue is where we also conducted our first training session. The boys are still focused and ready for the match,” said Gumbo.
Gumbo was given the reins after the resignation of veteran gaffer Sunday Chidzambwa early last week.
Zimbabwe and Mauritius have met nine times before this encounter with the Warriors winning seven of the matches, losing once and drawing once.
Their only loss was in August 1982 when they fell 0-2 in the Indian Ocean Games, while the draw came in August 2013 in a Chan 2014 qualifier that ended 1-1.
Victory for the Warriors in the two-legged qualifiers will set them on a collision course with either Lesotho or South Africa in the final round of qualifiers for the finals set for Cameroon early next year.
Warriors’ probable starting XI
Ariel Sibanda, Ian Nekati, Peter Muduhwa, Partson Jaure, Xolani Ndlovu, Nqobizitha Masuku, Leeroy Mavhunga, Phenias Bhamusi, Never Tigere, Clive Augusto, Prince Dube. The Chronicle