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Can Warriors douse the Flames?

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IT’S a battle of interim coaches this afternoon at the Kamuzu Stadium as Lloyd Mutasa’s Warriors take on the Flames of Malawi in an international friendly match ahead of their Cosafa Castle Cup due in July.

REPORT BY WELLINGTON TONI

Mutasa, assisted by Peter Ndlovu and Nkululeko Dlamini, is in charge while head coach Klaus Dieter Pagels takes a break in Germany while Malawi are led by Eddington Ng’onamo as they continue their search for a permanent coach.

That aside, this is a dress rehearsal for the two teams Cosafa quarter-final clash in Zambia in July and no doubt, the same characters this afternoon will star again in the regional tournament.

Malawi had tried to get their professional players from South Africa, Mozambique and Angola, but due to various reasons, could only get defender Limbikani “Pupa” Mzava and forwards Esau Kanyenda and Robin Ngalande.

The Flames will use Saturday’s match to tune up for the forthcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Namibia’s Brave Warriors and Kenya’s Harambee Stars.

Football Association of Malawi (Fam) chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda told the Malawi Nation newspaper on Wednesday said the bulk of the professionals have been ruled out due to various reasons.

“We were expecting most of them to come, but it appears only Mzava, Kanyenda and Ngalande will be available,” said Nyirenda.

Mzava and Ngalande were scheduled to fly in from Johannesburg on Wednesday while Kanyenda was scheduled to join the rest of the team last night.

Joseph Kamwendo, formerly of Caps United in Zimbabwe, and his deputy Moses “Luba” Chavula and South Africa-based Atusaye Nyondo, Harry Nyirenda, Peter Wadabwa and Tawonga Chimodzi are not available for the match.

“The Mozambique teams said they could not consider our request to release the players because their season is in progress. As for Atusaye, the date for the friendly clashes with SuperSport United’s Nedbank Cup final match against Kaizer Chiefs.

“Tawonga’s team, Santos, is preparing for the Premier Soccer League (PSL) promotion and relegation play-offs and he also has to sort out his future as his contract is coming to an end. The same applies to Harry (Nyirenda),” said the Fam CEO.

Midfielder Robert “Baggio” Ng’ambi, who has also played for Monomotapa in Zimbabwe, has ruled himself out as he is supposed to attend the South African PSL Awards Gala.
For Zimbabwe, Mutasa has stuck to the local boys who lost 2-0 to Zambia last month as they continue building two teams for the Cosafa and African Nations Championships (Chan) championship later in July.

Highlanders attacking midfielder and AmaZulu of South Africa target Masimba Mambare is the captain of the ship that docked in Malawi at 1730hrs on Thursday evening after leaving Harare at 0430hrs and going through Mozambique.

New faces in the team are Highlanders goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, who is expected to start from the bench with Harare City’s Max Nyamupangedengu getting the nod, Hwange’s Eric Chapeta and Simba Sithole, who was called in to replace injured FC Platinum star Ali Sadiki.

Resurgent FC Platinum attacker Charles Sibanda has also returned to the team after a long absence, but is expected to battle it out in midfield with Monomotapa’s pint-sized star Ronald Chitiyo and Kuda Musharu. Chicken Inn’s Thabani Goredema has also earned a call up.

Squad
Goalkeepers: Maxwell Nyamupangedengu (Harare City), Munyaradzi Diya (Highlanders)
Defenders: Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United), Felix Chindungwe (Chicken Inn), Eric Chipeta (Hwange), Ocean Mushure (Dynamos)
Midfielders: Kuda Musharu (Monomotapa), Silas Songani (Harare City), Ronald Chitiyo (Monomotapa), Masimba Mambare (Highlanders), Devon Chafa (Dynamos), Nicholas Alifandika (Black Mambas), Simba Sithole (How Mine), Charles Sibanda (FC Platinum), Prosper Matizanadzo (Buffaloes), Thabani Goredema (Chicken Inn)
Strikers: Tawanda Nyamandwe (Caps United), Last Chibwiro (Black Mambas).

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