Just 10 out of the 23 players who represented Zimbabwe at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt have made the cut for the Fifa World Cup qualifier against Somalia next month, with captain Knowledge Musona among the notable casualties.
By Kevin Mapasure
Musona is currently club hunting and has not featured in the current European season with his club Anderlecht looking to ship him out on loan.
The Warriors are now under new management following the appointment of Joey Antipas as head coach, who will be assisted by Lloyd Chitembwe and Tonderai Ndiraya.
The trio have wielded the axe on 13 of the players that represented Zimbabwe in Egypt in July, while giving a chance to a host of locally-based players for the preliminary round clash.
About three weeks ago, Zifa said they had blacklisted certain players who the soccer-governing body felt sabotaged the country in Egypt and it looks like the mother body’s hand in the selection of the squad has been prominent.
Also missing from the new look squad is leftback Ronald Pfumbidzai, who plays for Bloemfontein Celtic in South Africa as well as China-based striker Nyasha Mushekwi.
Midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who is yet to feature for Aston Villa since his big move from Club Brugge, has been ignored this time around, possibly because of his inactivity.
George Chigova, who was first choice goalkeeper in Egypt has also been left out, while Elvis Chipezeze who made shocking howlers against the Democratic Republic of Congo in theWarriors’ 4-0 defeat, has surprisingly retained his spot in the squad and could now command the number one jersey.
Chigova and Ovidy Karuru, who was the team’s vice-captain are currently struggling for game time at their respective clubs and it could be the reason why they have been left out.
Rightback Tendayi Darikwa is out following an injury.
With the carnage in the Warriors’ camp, some of the beneficiaries include former Chicken Inn striker Clive Augusto, Caps United winger Phineas Bhamusi, Highlanders defenders Peter Muduhwa and McClive Phiri as well as Chicken Inn midfielder Tichaona Chipunza.
The Leicester forward, who suffered a heartbreak following his omission from the squad that travelled to Egypt, has been recalled as is Terrence Dzvukamanja.
Tino Kadewere, who has been enjoying a rich vein of form in France’s Ligue 2, scoring six goals in four matches, is also in the squad together with midfileder Kuda Mahachi.
The first leg will be played in Djibouti on September 5 and the return is set for September 8 at Barbourfields Stadium.
Goalkeepers: Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka), and Talbert Shumba (Chapungu)
Defenders: Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor), McClive Phiri (Highlanders), Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids AFC), and Divine Lunga (Lamontville Golden Arrows)
Midfielders: Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United), Tichaona Chipunza (Chicken Inn), Phineas Bamusi (Caps United), and Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs)
Strikers: Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre AC), Clive Augusto (Maritzburg United), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Bidvest Wits), Admiral Muskwe (Leicester City), and Evans Rusike (Supersport