WARRIORS home-based players selected for the final African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against Lesotho at the weekend were expected in camp last night to start preparations for the decisive second leg match away in Maseru.
BY HENRY MHARA
Zifa spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said all the 26 players picked in the provisional squad were expected to have grouped at the Zifa Village in Harare last night and training will commence this morning.
Some players started trooping into camp on Saturday immediately after taking part in their Premier Soccer League matches.
The Warriors edged the Crocodiles 3-1 in the first leg played at the National Sports Stadium last month, through a Prince Dube’s brace and another goal by Wellington Taderera.
Hlompho Kalake converted a late penalty to give Lesotho some hope of overturning the scores in front of their home supporters.
Warriors coach Joey Antipas has largely kept the core of the team that did duty at home when Zimbabwe managed what looks like a comfortable lead going into the second leg, with midfielder Never Tigere the biggest omission on the list.
The FC Platinum player had a below par performance on the day, and that could be the reason why he has been left out.
In comes Ngezi Platinum star midfielder Donald Teguru, who has finally been rewarded for a splendid season he has enjoyed so far at club level.
Kelvin Madzongwe has also been included in the squad and so are Joel Ngodzo and Nomore Chinyerere who were excluded in the previous match because they did not have passports.
Striker Evans Katema, who missed the first leg after picking an injury on the eve of the match, is fit again and included in the current provisional squad.
He will fight for a starting position upfront with man of the moment Dube, who has been banging goals for the Warriors and his club Highlanders in recent weeks.
Dube is the leading goal scorer in the campaign with five goals and will be hoping to add more in the final qualifier and help his nation reach the final tournament set for Cameroon in January next year.
Only players who are playing in their country’s own domestic league are eligible to compete in the Chan tournament.
The Warriors squad is expected to fly out to Maseru on Thursday, ahead of the Sunday match.
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)