BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
WARRIORS captain Partson Jaure has made a passionate appeal to his troops to be focused and defend their lead jealously when they clash with Lesotho in Maseru in the decisive second leg of the 2020 African Nations Championships (Chan) tournament on Sunday.
The Chan tournament, to be held in Cameroon, is a version of the prestigious African Cup of Nations, but designed exclusively for home-based players.
Zimbabwe make the trip to Lesotho tomorrow with what appears a good lead after overcoming their opponents 3-1 in the first leg courtesy of a brace by Prince Dube with Wellington Taderera weighing in with another goal.
Lesotho then converted a late penalty through Hlompho Kalake to give some hope of overturning the tables in the reverse fixture.
And Jaure yesterday said Lesotho remain a threat despite having beaten them at home. He said they would try to score early and then defend.
“We managed to beat Lesotho 3-1 in the first leg, but it doesn’t mean they are a bad side. I believe they are a very strong side capable of turning the tables, so we need to treat them with respect. In my view, we need to score an early goal and then close shop. We have to make sure they don’t score, so we need to defend to the last minute. It will, however, depend on the coach’s strategy, but what is important is that we have to go through by all means,” Jaure said.
The 29-year-old was part of the Chan squad that had a successful campaign which ended with Zimbabwe reaching the semi-finals of the tournament in South Africa in 2014, under Ian Gorowa’s guidance. It was the first time for Zimbabwe to reach the last four of the tournament since its inauguration in 2009.
The Warriors are eager to make it to Cameroon after missing the boat for the first time last year following a shock defeat at the hands of Namibia in the qualifiers.
Warriors coach Joey Antipas has made changes to the team that defeated Lesotho in the first leg with Dynamos striker Evans Katema returning after recovering from an injury that had kept him out, while Caps United midfielder Joel Ngodzo is set to play a part for the first time after he finally managed to secure a passport.
Ngezi Platinum Stars midfielder Donald Teguru has also been rewarded with a call-up, while FC Platinum’s Kelvin Madzongwe, who has also been unable to feature for the team because of the passport issue, has been included in the squad.
However, striker Never Tigere has been dropped, having participated in the previous qualifiers.
Goalkeepers: Simbarashe Chinani (Dynamos), Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi)
Defenders: Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Peter Muduwa, MacClive Phiri (Highlanders) Frank Mukarati (Ngezi Platinum), Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Nomore Chinyerere (Hwange)
Midfielders: Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Tichaona Chipunza, Valentine Kadonzvo, Sipho Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders), Ralph Kawondera (Triangle) Joel Ngodzo, Phenias Bamusi (Caps) Juan Mutudza (Herentals), Donald Teguru (Ngezi Platinum), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah), Wellington Taderera (Black Rhinos)
Strikers: Prince Dube (Highlanders), Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn), Evans Katema (Dynamos)