BY HENRY MHARA IN DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA.
Captain Knowledge Musona has challenged the Warriors to win the Cosafa tournament for the team’s coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambga (pictured), whose father passed on in Harare yesterday.
Mhofu was forced to abort the Cosafa Cup tournament currently underway in Durban, South Africa, to return home for the funeral.
The veteran coach will now miss Zimbabwe’s semi-final clash tomorrow against the winner between Zambia and Malawi, who were set to meet in the quarter-finals last night.
Musona, who is expected to start in tomorrow’s match, having come as a 75th-minute substitute in the 2-0 win over Comoros in the quarters on Saturday, said the team is even more determined to win for the coach.
“It’s sad that things have gone this way. May his soul rest in peace. It’s not a good moment when one of the members in a team loses a loved one, so when we heard the news, there was a moment of sadness,” Musona said.
“We will have to dedicate all the games that we will play to his father and win for him. So we will fight for him and be there for him in this sad moment. We want to celebrate his father’s life with him.”
Musona said the whole squad would also contribute financially towards the burial of the late Chidzambga, who died at the age of 98.
Chidzambga is the most successful coach in this competition and was also seeking to extend this personal milestone to a fourth title.
Zimbabwe are also the most successful team in the tourney, and are looking to win a record seventh title here.
They are looking well on course after a comfortable win over Comoros, with Evans Rusike and Khama Billiat scoring the two goals.
“So far, everything is good. We are looking forward to everyday at training. Remember, we are using Cosafa to prepare for Afcon, so we are giving our best and we are taking this tournament seriously,” Musona said.
“We are not going to play a lot of friendlies, so this is the opportunity to shape our team physically and tactically. We want to go to Afcon with a good momentum, go there and play good and hopefully, we will pass the group stages.”
This is the first time that Musona is participating at the regional tournament, and while he is unlikely to play throughout, he still has high ambitions.
The 28-year-old will be part of the players that are expected to leave for Nigeria on Thursday for a friendly match against the Super Eagles on Saturday.
The other group will remain behind to see off the Cosafa tournament.
The Warriors are expected to field a strong squad tomorrow, after the arrival of more senior players in camp.
Marshall Munetsi joined camp yesterday and Marvellous Nakamba is expected to arrive today.
Walter Musona picked an injury at training and is likely to miss the rest of the tournament.