Jordan Zemura to miss Warriors’ thriller versus the Lions of Teranga
Zimbabwe international defender Jordan Zemura who reportedly contracted Covid-19 at his base in England will miss the Warriors’ mouth watering opening fixture versus Senegal at the rescheduled AFCON 2021 tournament in Cameroon.
This comes after his English outfit AFC Bournemouth were hit by the Covid-19 outbreak last week Tuesday forcing the club to cancel their mid week league match after several players were affected by the virus.
The outbreak resulted in a number of the Cherries players and staff who tested positive of the virus being placed under a mandatory seven day isolation which lasted until Saturday.
However, it was not officially announced that the dreadlocked roving Zemura was among the players who had the virus but his delay to join the Warriors squad in Cameroon may evidently play a huge part to the conclusion.
He was supposed to leave England for Cameroon on the 3rd of January but to date he is still holed up in the UK.
Zimbabwe are scheduled to play a strong looking side (on paper) Senegal at the Stade Omnisports de Bafoussam in Bafoussam, Cameroon, today (Monday) afternoon.
The kickoff time for the much anticipated tricky encounter is 3pm Zimbabwean time.
The Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare confirmed Zemura’s absence to the state owned newspaper, The Sunday Mail.
“Zemura will miss the Warriors’ opening match versus Senegal. He will have his PCR test today (Saturday),” he said.
The in-form Bournemouth full-backs’ absence against the Lions of Teranga is a concern and a huge blow for head coach Norman Mapeza.
Due to Zemura’s non-appearance, Mapeza is now left with limited options on the left side of his defense, in the left back position.
He will now either play the Supersport United’s duo of veteran defender Onismor Bhasera and speedy winger Kuda Mahachi or Azam FC’ Bruce Kangwa as one of his fullbacks.
Mahachi who suffered an injury scare after picking a knock against Sudan in the 0-0 preparatory match last week Sunday has fully recovered.
Meanwhile, it looks gloomy for Mapeza’s opponents, Senegal, who are likely to face the Warriors without a number of their creme de la creme after some players tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.
The reported star players include Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Pape Sarr as well as Nampalys Mendy and Mame Thiam.
However, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane who is likely to tussle with the Warriors’ central defense of Teenage Hadebe and Gerald Takwara will lead the 2019 AFCON finalists in their attacking front. Nehanda Radio