THE Warriors suffered a huge blow yesterday after forward Kuda Mahachi was ruled out of the do-or-die 2015 Africa Cup of Nations first round second leg football qualifier against Tanzania in Harare on Sunday.
Mahachi, on loan to Highlanders from South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, was in Namibia over the weekend with his parent club for a cup match against African Stars, but did not feature in the Brazilians’ 1-0 win on Sunday due to an injury picked at training.
The Warriors star had been expected to start training with the rest of the squad in Harare yesterday, but after being assessed by team doctor Nick Munyonga, it was discovered he was not fit to play as he needed time to recover.
His South African club then asked him to return to Pretoria for treatment.
“Kuda has been assessed by the doctor and he said he has an ankle injury and there was no way he could play on Sunday. His club Mamelodi Sundowns has requested him to return to South Africa for further treatment,” team manager Shariff Mussa said.
“As for Edward Sadomba, we are still to get more information from his club with regard to his travelling arrangements so we are still expecting him.”
Sadomba, who scored his fifth Champions League goal for his Libyan side Al Ahly Benghazi in Tunisia on Saturday, is expected to bring in the much-needed pace upfront to unsettle and eventually break down the Taifa Stars, should he eventually make the trip today.
Midfielder Peter “Rio” Moyo, who lasted only 26 minutes for Highlanders in their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League win at Buffaloes on Sunday after picking up a knock, has also been ruled out.
Right-back Hardlife Zvirekwi and defensive midfielder Danny Phiri also picked up knocks at training yesterday morning, but Mussa said they were not serious issues and were expected to play on Sunday.
The unavailability of these players due to injuries has now limited coach Ian Gorowa’s selection options. Later in the afternoon, Mussa said there had not been any changes since the first training session in the morning.
The Warriors, who lost 1-0 in Dar es Salaam a fortnight ago, need to score two clear goals to advance to the next round of the qualifiers in which they would face either neighbours Mozambique or South Sudan.
Should they proceed from there, they will join Group E, which also has neighbours Zambia, Cape Verde and Niger for the final lap to Morocco.