ZIMBABWE’s chances of qualifying for the 2014 Brazil World Cup soccer show are next to none, but team captain Denver Mukamba says they are taking their qualifying match against Egypt on Sunday seriously.
Report by Henry Mhara
The Warriors, who welcomed winger Khama Billiat at training yesterday after he missed the opening day session on Tuesday, are bottom of Group G with a point, while the Pharaohs are top with nine points and just need a point at the National Sports Stadium for them to qualify for the next stage of the qualifiers.
Other group teams, Guinea and Mozambique, are on four and two points respectively.
For Zimbabwe to qualify, they will need to win all their remaining three games, starting with the Sunday match, and hope that results elsewhere go in their favour.
Speaking to the media just after the squad’s morning training session at the match venue yesterday, the Bidvest Wits player said: “It’s still a very important match for us. Our chances of qualifying are very slim, but this is football, anything can happen. We need to do our job, to win our matches and let fate take its course.”
He added: “The coach is also trying to build a team for the future and we need to have a good foundation. We need to build a team with a winning mentality. It has to start now in these matches.
“Beating a big team like Egypt will give us confidence going forward. We played well in Egypt and we were just unfortunate to lose the match in the dying minutes.
“We didn’t deserve to lose that match. We are trying to rectify the mistakes we made in that match and hopefully we will come right on Sunday,” the former Dynamos and Kiglon player added.
From this week’s training sessions though, it looks like German coach Klaus Dieter Pagels will not tinker much with the squad that did battle in Alexandria.
Vice-captain Washington Arubi is almost assured of the goalkeeping position, while the only change expected in defence is that of Felix Chindungwe, who will come in for the dropped Augustine Mbara.
The Chicken Inn defender is expected to partner Lincoln Zvasiya at the centre, while the Dynamos duo of Ocean Mushure and Patson Jaure are likely to be deployed as full-backs.
Devon Chafa looks set to start in the anchor role and would be assisted by Archford Gutu.
Mukamba has been training as a wide man on the left with Billiat, who only started training yesterday morning, expected to man the other wing.
However, Billiat did not take part in the afternoon session as he was sorting out his passport.
The midfielder arrived in the country from his South Africa base on Tuesday afternoon on an emergency travel document after losing his passport. He told NewsDay Sport that he expected to be issued with a new one today.
The Warriors played a practice match against Monomotapa at the match venue yesterday, winning 5-1 courtesy of a double from Rodreck Mutuma, Cuthbert Malajila, Knowledge Musona and Mukamba.
Musona is expected to start upfront, but just behind target man Malajila in a 4-4-1-1 formation.