Young Zebras ready for Young Warriors


The Young Zebras of Botswana have vowed to finish off the Young Warriors when the two meet in the second round, second leg All-Africa Games football qualifier at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

The first leg in Botswana ended in a 2-2 draw two weeks ago. The Young Zebras arrived on Wednesday night but immediately had to rush striker Phenyo Olefe to hospital after he suffered an asthma attack.

Said team manager Davis Bikkie Kopi: “The player has been asthmatic yes, but the way it happened made us all here press a panic button.

“But we are relieved because he has since recovered and is ready for the match,” Kopi said.

The Young Zebras have made three changes to the team which played in the first leg.

“We have brought Mokhakhulidi Ngele, Bakang Uloeng and Thato Bololweng into the team that played Zimbabwe last time.

“We managed to travel with 13 players on the first batch with other five players set to arrive tomorrow (Friday) with our assistant coach. We had a problem because the five are students at the University of Botswana so they were busy writing examinations,” Kopi said.

Kopi who is assistant coach to Zimbabwean-born Paul Moyo at Taffic, said they were very much disappointed by the treatment that they got from Zifa.
“When the Young Warriors came to Botswana we had to give them the best accommodation that someone can get in our country. It’s actually a five star hotel that has hosted people like Tiger Woods.
“But Zifa has given us a raw deal because the hotel that we are staying in is only a three star hotel. We tried to talk to Zifa officials to get a better hotel but we hear there is Hifa going on, so most of the best hotels are booked. For that we will forgive them,” he added.
The Young Warriors cannot be intimidated either as they have called up Chicken Inn central defender Morris Kadzola to beef up their defence after they lost Victor Kamhuka and Edwin Nkomo from Bantu Rovers who were part of the previous team.
Misheck Mburayi’s recent form at Highlanders has also earned him a call up into the team. Kamhuka is in South Africa for trials while Nkomo picked up an injury when he was playing for the Under- 19 team in the Metropolitan Super Cup.
Young Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare said they were still making efforts to get Mathew Rusike from Jomo Cosmos and assured the nation Reading star Trevor Mutero will be available for the match as they have talked to his club to extend his stay specifically for the match.
“He was supposed to have gone back last Wednesday but we negotiated for his service. He has been in the country since the first leg and he was with the Under-19 in South Africa where he played well, scoring six goals.” Mpandare admitted that the suspension of Denver Mukamba and Archford Gutu was a big blow to the team.
“It is indeed a big blow but we have to move on with the players that we have called in camp.
“We hope these who are going to be given the chance to play are going to do it with all their hearts,” added Mpandare.