BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS goalkeeper George Chigova has warned his fellow teammates of the catastrophes of overconfidence and complacency ahead of their make-or-break Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group G qualifier against Congo Brazzaville at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The Sunday Chidzambga-coached side must avoid a defeat in front of an expected full house at the giant stadium to book their ticket to the finals in Egypt this June.
The big goalkeeper, who is expected to retain his position between the posts after sitting out the last game for the Warriors through an injury, a 1-0 away loss in Liberia, knows the danger that is posed by the visitors.
A point is enough to take the Warriors through to the finals, but Chigova believes that playing for a draw could be calamitous for the home side.
“They (Congo) are a very good side, so we don’t have to take them lightly. We will have to defend well as a team and at the same time attack and go for all the three points,” Chigova said.
Since missing the last Warriors match after the injury he picked in Harare against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in October, Chigova has fully recovered and has been in good form for his South African league side Polokwane City.
He is one of the Warriors players that have found form going into the decisive match, with most of the squad members playing regular football for their respective clubs.
“We are prepared for the game, and we know what is at stake. I’m confident that we will get the three points we need to go through. We just need to keep focused and do what the game requires us to do,” Chigova added.
Worryingly, though for Chidzambga is that star midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is set to miss the match.
Nakamba sustained an injury at training with his Belgian side Club Brugge last week and has been ruled out of action for six weeks.
Warriors skipper Knowledge Musona is also an injury concern. He sat out of a weekend match for his Belgian side Lokeren after failing a late fitness test.
He has been asked to report for camp by the Warriors technical team, who are hoping that he will recover in time to take part in the match.
Musona, expected to join the rest of the squad in Harare today, is arriving together with Nyasha Munetsi and Kuda Mahachi.
The bulk of the foreign-based players were expected yesterday, except for England-based Tendayi Darikwa, who is arriving on Wednesday.
Training should commence this morning at Yadah Village where the team is housed.
Zimbabwe leads the group with eight points, followed by Liberia on seven. DRC has six, while Brazzaville has five.
So open is the group that all the four teams will go into their final matches at the weekend with a chance of winning the two qualifying slots.
If the Warriors avoid a defeat on Sunday, they will go through together with either DRC or Liberia who face off on the same day in Kinshasa.
Chidzambga’s men can still qualify even with a defeat, but only if the match in Kinshasa ends in a draw.
Goalkeepers: G Chigova (Polokwane City, SA), E Sibanda (Witbank Spurs, SA), P Mhari (FC Platinum)
Defenders: D Lunga (Lamontville Golden Arrows, SA), M Munetsi (Orlando Pirates, SA), T Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs, SA), A Mudimu (CEFN Druids, Wales), T Darikwa (Nottingham Forest, England), J Dzingai (Power Dynamos, Zambia), R Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic, SA), G Murwira (FC Platinum)
Midfielders: T Kutinyu (Azam, Tanzania), R Hachiro (Herentals), K Mahachi (Orlando Pirates, SA), L Mavunga (Yadah Stars), K Musona (KSC Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium), O Karuru (Amazulu, SA), B Ncube (Amazulu, SA), K Lunga (SV Rodinghausen, Germany), K Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs, SA), D Phiri (Lamontville Golden Arrows, SA), T Chawapihwa (Amazulu, SA)
Strikers: T Kadewere (Le Havre AC, France) E Rusike (SuperSport United, SA) A Muskwe (Leicester City, England) K Mutizwa (Golden Arrows, SA) A Amidu (Arar, Saudi Arabia)