WARRIORS caretaker coach Rahman Gumbo is leaving nothing to chance as he prepares for the decisive second leg of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Mauritius this weekend after he tasked team manager Wellington Mupandare to help Joel “Josta” Ngodzo secure a passport to enable him to play a part in the clash.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The match will be played at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Sunday.
Ngodzo was left out of the squad that travelled to Mauritius for the first leg where the Warriors overpowered the hosts 4-0 to carry a healthy lead going into the second leg as his passport had expired.
Leeroy Mavunga and Never Tigere scored a brace each.
The Caps United midfielder has been trying to renew his passport with the assistance of his club, but to no avail.
However, Gumbo, who was elevated to the top post in temporary capacity, following the sudden resignation of Sunday Chidzambga, believes Ngodzo is a player who can add value and has asked the team manager to sort out the papers.
Mupandare spent the better part of yesterday at the passport office as he sought to ensure the player got his passport for the Sunday match.
FC Platinum’s Kelvin Madzongwe also failed to travel with the team for the first leg because his passport had expired, but could play a part after he managed to secure it yesterday.
“Ngodzo’s passport is being sorted out. The team manager is working on that. Kelvin Madzongwe also had no passport, but managed to renew his,” Gumbo said.
Both players were part of the squad that trained at the Yadah Complex in Harare yesterday.
The Warriors go into the match with a healthy advantage and are expected to sail through to the next round without much problem.
But Gumbo’s men will need to guard against complacency.
Should the Warriors prevail on Sunday as is hugely-expected, they will meet either Lesotho or South Africa in the final qualifier for the tournament finals set for Cameroon next year.
Lesotho beat South Africa 3-2 in the first leg, and the reverse fixture is in Pretoria this weekend.
The Warriors last played in Bulawayo in 2013 under the guidance of Ian Gorowa when they overcame Mozambique 2-1 in an international friendly match as they prepared for the 2014 CHAN tournament hosted by South Africa.
Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela urged fans to come in their numbers to watch the Warriors on their return to Barbourfields Stadium.
Zimbabwe failed to qualify to the last edition of the Chan fianls after they were knocked by Namibia in the final qualifying round.