BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
FORMER Dynamos and Warriors goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva (pictured) is set to bounce back into the national team which is scheduled to take on African champions Algeria in the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifier next month after he was called up by coach Zdravko Logarusic.
The Warriors face off the Desert Foxes in back-to-back qualifiers between November 9 and 17, starting with a trip to Algiers before hosting them at the National Sports Stadium a week later.
The expatriate coach will preside over the Warriors for the first time in a competitive match since his appointment, having taken charge of the team in an international friendly against the Flames of Malawi early this month.
The Zimbabwe-Malawi friendly ended in a 0-0 stalemate and Loga has kept faith in the team that has been in place with Mkuruva — the notable inclusion having last kept goal for the Warriors at the 2017 African Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon.
The shot stopper, now based in the United States, where he is playing for Michgan Stars, had been included in the squad that travelled for the friendly match against Malawi, but he could not make the trip due to communication breakdown.
Several foreign-based stars failed to show up for varios reasons, including the late dispatch of invitation letters by Zifa.
However, this time around, he is likely to be part of the team that will make the trip to Algeria. Also set to be part of the squad is South Africa-based Kuda Mahachi and England-based Macauley Bonne.
Mahachi had also been named in the squad to face Malawi in the international friendly match before he was dropped at the last minute following reports that he had tested positive to COVID-19.
He has, however, recovered and was involved at the weekend and Loga wants to work with him.
Bonne, who has featured for the Warriors in an international friendly, is also expected to make his debut in a competitive match should he heed the call.
The full squad featuring veteran players such as skipper Knowledge Musona, Marvellous Nakamba, Khama Billiat, Marshall Munetsi, Tino Kadewere, Tendai Darikwa and Teenage Hadebe, among others, is expected to be announced early next week.
The Warriors will be seeking to consolidate their position in the race for the continental soccer showcase.
Algeria lead Group H after a perfect record in the campaign so far following victories over Zambia and Botswana while Zimbabwe are second on the table with four points from a stunning away victory against Zambia and a draw against the Zebras of Botswana at home.