Hwange are eyeing the first round of the Orange Caf Confederation Cup as they seek to finish off Zanzibar’s Jamhuri in the preliminary round second leg of the tournament at the Colliery tomorrow.
Chipangano dismissed Jamhuri 3-0 at Gombani Stadium in Pemba on February 18 and with the comfortable lead they look set to be hosting Sudan’s El Amal Otbara at the Colliery in the first leg of the first round on the weekend of March 24-25.
Technical manager Tenant Chilumba yesterday said morale is high in camp and he will have a tough time coming up with the final team to take on Jamhuri as everyone is raring to go.
“The morale is very high in camp and everyone is just ready to go. We have been working on avoiding complacency and the boys are focused and we are all one family. Everyone is fit and it has given us good options and a bit of difficulty in coming up with the final team. We are not going to disappoint our community and the nation at large,” Chilumba said.
Hwange got off to a flying start in the first leg thumping the Zanzibaris in their backyard with goals from Farayi Vimisai, Rodwell Chinyengetere and Munyaradzi Mungadze.
Chilumba has assembled a new squad after the axeing of captain Gerald Ndlovu, Obert Moyo and Andrew Chuma.
Chilumba introduced new signings Eric Chipeta and Evans Rusike, who all participated in the first leg a fortnight.
Chipangano has one of the strongest midfields in the country that has the experience of returnee Vimisai, Nkosana Siwela, Ocean Mpofu, Winston Mhango, Rusike, Oscar Lungu and Chinyengetere.
Thonisani Sibelo and veteran David Boriwondo are in defence with two trusted goalkeepers, Petros Mhari and Timothy Sibanda.
The first leg goals came from the midfield and defence, Chilumba has strikers Gilbert Zulu and Tongai Mamina and the youthful Fransisco Zvikumbawire.
Allan Tavariswa, Malvern Longwe and Blessing Sande who did not travel to Zanzibar might taste continental football tomorrow after Chilumba indicated he would be making changes to the team that played in the first leg.
The Zanzibaris dealt themselves a blow after landing at Harare International Airport on Wednesday and enduring an 800km drive to Victoria Falls and were yesterday afternoon expected to have their first training session at the Colliery.
Hwange secretary Burzil Dube said he had advised them to travel via South Africa since they were no flights to the Victoria Falls from Harare, but the reportedly cash-strapped Jamhuri preferred to drive from the capital to the resort town, where they are booked.
Tomorrow’s match will be handled by Botswana referees Leso Kutlwano (in the centre) with Medupe Meshack (first assistant) and second assistant Monakwane Moernedi while South African George Boodhoo will be the match commissioner.