Warriors hunt Eagles

FILE PICTURE: Warriors strike-Roderick Mutuma-controls the ball during a training session while coach Kalisto Pasuwa looks on

Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa will ring changes to the team for their must-win Group D African Nations Championship (Chan) clash with Mali here at the Umganda Stadium this afternoon.

Kevin Mapasure in Rubavu, Rwanda

The Warriors and the Eagles, who are separated by a single point after the latter drew their first match, collide at 3pm Zimbabwean time.

Both teams will be desperate for a win to enhance their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Yesterday, Pasuwa said while the team is hard-pressed for a win, they have not put themselves under pressure.

Pasuwa expects another tough match, but believes his team has what it takes to win and qualify for the next stage.

Dynamos defender Elisha Muroiwa has been ruled out of this match after picking up an injury in the game against Zambia.

Pasuwa might be forced to change his plans for today’s match with Blessing Moyo likely to be sidelined by a calf injury.

Moyo, yesterday was struggling with the swollen calf and could miss the match which Pasuwa had planned to play him in the midfield.

“I do not think Moyo will make it for this match. He was in our plans for tomorrow’s (today’s) game, so we have to try other plans. We had hoped he would have come in to add some grip as he is quick on the ball. We wanted him to help improve our central midfield.”

Pasuwa said he was going to make some changes in the team hoping to improve on ball retention.

“If you look in the last game, we were losing the ball in the midfield unnecessarily. So we want to have as many ball players in the midfield. We were also working on chance conversion. There could be some changes in the strike force. In international football if you get chances and fail to convert, you get punished like what happened on Tuesday.”

The technical team could choose to thrust Caps United midfielder Joel Ngodzo. Dynamos forward Rodreck Mutuma, who came in as a substitute in the second half of the Zambia game, might earn a starting berth today.

Pasuwa said his team would approach this match with caution hoping to capitalise on the break.

“We will try to be as compact as possible, we do not want to open up and allow spaces at the back. We will try to hit them on the break.”

The record-breaking coach said they had put the Zambia disappointment aside.

“We came here with a young side, most of these players are under 23. They have shown confidence and will,” Pasuwa said.

Captain Hardlife Zvirekwi said his charges were confident of a win.

“”We know if we lose this match we will be going home. We do not want to go home early, we are raring to go, we are confident and we expect to win. We will not change the way we play, we want our game plan to work.”

Mali coach Djibril Drame said his team was ready for the Zimbabwe challenge.

“This crop of players has better potential than the one we had when we lost to Zimbabwe in the 2014 Chan edition,” he said.

“We do not expect to lose this match. The boys are physically and mentally fit. We are thinking about going all the way to win this tournament.”

The Zimbabwe vs Mali match precedes the Zambia vs Uganda clash where the Warriors will be hoping Chipolopolo drop points.


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