BY HENRY MHARA
PRINCE Dube has had a campaign to remember in the African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifiers so far.
The Warriors hitman has scored five times to top the goalscoring charts in the qualifiers, following his hat-trick against Mauritius in the second round and a brace against Lesotho in the first leg of the final round qualifier last month.
Zimbabweans will be looking up to him again to provide more sparkle when the Warriors travel to Maseru this weekend, hoping to finish off the Crocodiles, who they lead 3-1 from the first leg.
Wellington Taderera scored the other goal for the Warriors while Hlompho Kalake converted a late penalty to give Lesotho something to fight for in the Sunday match.
If the Joey Antipas-coached side win, draw or avoid a defeat by a two-goal margin, they will book a ticket to the Chan finals set for Cameroon next year.
Dube reckons that the job is half done and all his and the team’s effort this far will count for nothing if they fail to go past the last hurdle.
“I’m feeling good at the moment. I wish to continue from where I left in the last match against Lesotho. I want to continue helping the team to achieve our goals. It’s not all about me, but the team and I hope we will continue to have that understanding in the team going forward,” Dube said.
Until recently, Dube has been scoring goals for fun in the national team, but struggling for his club Highlanders. He explains: “All I do is to give my best when I get the chance to play. It’s not that I was playing badly at the start of the season; it’s just that I was unlucky. I was playing well, but I wasn’t scoring, but now I’m doing it.
“It’s all about being patient. I’m getting in goal-scoring positions and getting those goals, so I hope to continue with this form. I will try to score from the chances I get.”
The Warriors are carrying what appears a comfortable lead going into the decisive second leg, but Dube is wary.
“We have to play our usual game. We have to go there and showcase our talent. We know it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be a totally different game. So we will also have to approach it with caution. We will have to try to score goals and get a good result,” Dube said.
Antipas yesterday picked the final 18 players that will travel to Maseru this afternoon and he kept the core of the team that did duty in the first leg.
From the 11 that started the match at the National Sports Stadium, only Never Tigere missed out. The FC Platinum midfielder did not make the provisional squad this time around.
Joel Ngodzo and Kelvin Madzongwe, who did not participate in the first leg due to passport problems, are in the travelling squad.
Big names that have been left out from the list of players that were in camp, are Dynamos striker Evans Katema, Leeroy Mavunga of Yadah and Ngezi Platinum Stars talisman Donald Teguru.
The team flies out to Johannesburg today, where they will connect to Maseru by road.
Only players who are playing in their country’s domestic leagues are eligible to compete in the Chan tournament.
Warriors travelling squad
Goalkeepers: Simbarashe Chinani (Dynamos) Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders)
Defenders: Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Peter Muduwa, MacClive Phiri (Highlanders), Frank Makarati (Ngezi Platinum) Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken inn)
Midfielders: Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum) Tichaona Chipunza, Valentine Kadonzvo (Chicken Inn) Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders) Ralph Kawondera (Triangle) Joel Ngodzo, Phenias Bamusi (Caps).
Strikers: Prince Dube (Highlanders) Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn) Wellington Taderera (Black Rhinos)