Zim, Zebras clash

THE SENIOR national men’s soccer team host their Botswana counterparts in an international friendly match at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon and Warriors interim coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels says fans should not expect much from his side in this match.

Report by HENRY Mhara

Kickoff is 3pm.

Zifa has pegged the gate charges at $10 for the VIP enclosure, $5 for the Western Stands and $3 for the rest of the ground.
The Warriors are using the match as preparation for the 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier against Egypt next month.

Pagels, who took over from Rahman Gumbo, has emphasised on team building more than anything else.

Speaking after the team’s morning training session at the match venue yesterday, Pagels stated that he will not bow down to pressure from some sections of the Warriors fans who are calling for him to include such players as Willard Katsande, Ovidy Karuru and Bradley Pritchard who have been enjoying a rich vein of form for their respective clubs.

While giving a green light on Karuru and Katsande, Pagels ruled out any possibility of bringing in Pritchard who plays for English Championship side Charlton Athletic.

“We are not talking about results for this match. That is not what we want; we are building a new team. Yes, the results are important but for me I want to see how the players play and how they can get my philosophy of playing football. We will continue to educate the players on how I want them to play,” said the German national.

“This rebuilding will depend on the time I get with the players. I have two days in camp with the players for this match and it’s a problem. Egypt are going from camp to camp, to Dubai, to Qatar in preparation for our match and they have time together. We also need more time together,” he added.

“This player (Pritchard), I saw him when he was here for one match. Every time I read news he is really a big player in England and is doing well but to tell the truth, he is not on the same level with players we have here. He is not.

“So many people have been asking me why he is not here and have been telling me that I have to bring him in.

“Why, because he plays in England? For me it’s a no, he cannot fit into my philosophy,” said the man who has been stressing on a quick passing type of play at training.

Pagels said he has already finalised his team for today’s match and from yesterday’s training, it looks like he will play Washington Arubi in goals with the promising combination of Patson Jaure and Lincoln Zvasiya providing cover at the back.

Ocean Mushure is likely to play on the left side of defence with Gilbert Mapemba operating on the other side of defence.

Archford Gutu is a sure bet for the anchorman role with Denver Mukamba playing just ahead of him while Matthew Rusike and Khama Billiat will provide width in a 4-4-2 formation.

Knowledge Musona and Simba Sithole have been training as twin strikers and are almost certain they will lead the Warriors attack this afternoon.

A few of the local based players in camp might also get their chances as second half substitutes.

The Warriors held another training session at Gwanzura Stadium yesterday afternoon while the visitors trained at Rufaro.

The Zebras arrived in Harare early yesterday morning with 18 players, including star player Joel Mogorosi and seven members of the technical team. Their training session was interrupted by the afternoon rains and lightning.

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