Young Warriors chief striker Simba Sithole is a major doubt for the Zone VI All-Africa Games qualifying decider against their South African counterpart at the National Sports stadium on Sunday.
The Young Warriors, who are chasing a 2-0 score from the first leg regrouped yesterday at the Zifa Village with all the localbased players reporting for camp while the foreign-based stars were expected to trickle in later in the day.
However, team manager Wellington Mpandare revealed that the Mamelodi Sundowns new man Sithole, alongside Ajax Cape Town winger Tafadzwa Rusike might not make if for the crucial encounter.
The Young Warriors need to score at least three goals to qualify for the finals, set to be staged in Maputo, Mozambique in September.
“I wrote to Sundowns last week requesting them to release Simba for the game but up to now I haven’t received any response from them. I’m doing the follow up today (yesterday). As for Tafadzwa we need to buy him air tickets but it seems Zifa does not have the money at the moment,” said Mpandare.
There was also another body blow for the Young Warriors after it emerged that defender Knowledge Machona has failed to recover from the knock he received in the first leg in South Africa and has been replaced by Tinashe Masika of Kiglon.
Mpandare said Bolton-bound Mathew Rusike is available for the tie as he was still in the country sorting out his papers so that he can travel to the UK.
Young Warriors Provisional squad:
Goalkeepers: Ariel Sibanda, Liberty Chirava, Nicho Francis
Defenders: Lincoln Zvasiya, Qadr Amini, Obey Mwerahari, Duncan Kalongonda, Charles Mutero, Blessing Chimwamuchere, Tinashe Matsika, Morris Kadzola
Midfielders: Joel Ngodzo, Abbasi Amidu, Wellington Kamudyariwa, Timire Mamvura, Archford Gutu, Ngonidzashe Maviri, Russel Madamombe, Trevor Mutero, Misheck Mburayi
Strikers: Mathew Rusike, Simba Sithole, Patrick Kumbula, William Manondo, Donald Ngoma, Ntokozo Tshuma