WARRIORS coach Klaus Dieter Pagels has been forced to make another change to his injury-hit squad once again with Highlanders attacking midfielder Masimba Mambare being the new addition for the 2014 World Cup football qualifier against Egypt next Tuesday.
REPORT BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
He replaces injured Moroka Swallows defender Gilbert Mapemba, who had only been called into the senior team 24 hours earlier in what has been a seesaw of pullouts and replacements since last week.
Mambare, who played in the 2-1 victory over Botswana in an international friendly on February 6, had been overlooked for the Egypt assignment when Pagels named his 18-man squad two weeks ago.
Mapemba, who also played in the international friendly against the Zebras, had also been omitted and put on standby with Monomotapa newboy Nicholas Guyo.
Mapemba had been recalled at the weekend to replace Denmark-based Quincy Antipas after he failed to recover from the injury that also ruled him out of the Botswana clash.
But in a twist of events, it emerged yesterday the Warriors full-back has a knee problem and has been ruled out of the Egypt clash, forcing Pagels to recall Mambare whom he had also put on standby.
“Gilbert Mapemba is no longer going to Egypt. He still has a problem with his knee and in his place we have called up Masimba Mambare,” Pagels said.
The German mentor has stuck to his philosophy of rebuilding a new Zimbabwe team by dropping a number of veterans, including Tapuwa Kapini, Esrom Nyandoro, Vusa Nyoni, Tinashe Nengomasha, Nyasha Mushekwi and Cuthbert Malajila.
He has instead called up inactive players who include his preferred skipper Denver Mukamba of Bidvest Wits, Bloemfontein Celtic’s Rodreck Mutuma and even Knowledge Musona, who last played a league match for Augsburg last December.
Pagels had also announced his squad for the Egypt tie, minus Belgium-based Ovidy Karuru, who last played for the Warriors in the 0-0 draw against Mozambique last year.
But the OH Leuven midfielder was last week offered a chance to redeem himself as a late replacement for the injured Simba Sithole of SuperSport United.
Kaizer Chiefs forward Mathew Rusike has also been replaced by Ajax Cape Town midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike after picking up a groin injury while playing for his club.
The clash against Egypt will be Pagels’ second match in charge of the Warriors since taking over from Gumbo.
His first assignment ended in a victory over Botswana.
The Warriors have just a single point in Group G after falling to Guinea 1-0 at home and stuttering to a 0-0 draw against Mozambique in Maputo.
Egypt lead the group with six points, followed by Guinea with three.
Zimbabwe and Mozambique have a point each. Only the group winners go through to the next round of qualifiers.