The Young Warriors will not allow complacency to creep into their camp when they face Zambia in the second leg of the All-Africa Games qualifiers at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
The Young Warriors, under Warriors assistant coach Friday Phiri, won the first leg 2-3 in Lusaka two weeks ago and look set to progress to the next round where they will face the winner between South Africa and Angola for the ticket to Maputo, Mozambique, in September.
The junior national team went into camp on Sunday and started training in earnest on Mondaywith two workouts at Rufaro.
Young Warriors manager Wellington Mupandare said their efforts would come to nought if they failed to take command of the return leg.
“It’s a new game altogether; we are leading 3-2 from the first half and this is the second half. We would have achieved nothing if we don’t win the game. We are playing at home and the pressure is on us; they (Zambia) have nothing to lose.
“So we will not allow complacency to creep into the side otherwise all efforts from the first game would come to nothing.” Mupandare said Highlanders star Joel Ngodzo had been rested during Monday’s sessions as he had trained over the weekend with the senior team, Edwin Nkomo of Southern Region Division One side Bantu Rovers was missing from camp while Monomotapa’s Artwell Mukandi was expected later in the day on Monday.
The Young Warriors technical team is also negotiating with Motor Action over the release of Passmore Bernard and Tawanda Ushe, although it is highly unlikely that they will be released as they are preparing for the Orange Champions League.
“Charles Mutero is away on trials in Namibia, Cliff Sekete picked up an injury in the last game and might not play while we have not been able to reach Matthew Rusike in South Africa. Otherwise we have 24 players in camp all fighting for their places,” Mupandare added.
Simba Sithole (two) and Denver Mukamba were on target in the first leg and Zimbabwe will bank on them again to produce fireworks at home.
Coach Phiri has been working with the players in the senior team’s training since last week to sharpen their attacking skills.
Meanwhile, Zambia’s Under- 23 coach Lucky Msiska has said he is almost resigned to his team playing without any foreign-based players next week.
Msiska said the possibility of striker Fwayo Tembo of FC Basel in Switzerland featuring in the return leg was bleak.
“The club has said they will not release him because it is not a Fifa match date and they only planned to release him for just one game,” Msiska told the Lusaka Times publication.
Fwayo played in the first leg on January 8 held at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka.
“It looks like I will only feature the players I have at home, there is nothing much I can do,” Msiska said.
And Msiska and his team played reigning African champions TP Mazembe in a friendly on Sunday in Lubumbashi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, while Zimbabwe juniors will face their senior counterparts in a preparatory match on Wednesday.