WARRIORS striker Tino Kadewere finally got some minutes under his belt after he was introduced as a second half substitute in Ligue 1 giants Lyon’s draw against Nice in a league match over the weekend.
His appearance raises hope that the attacker can stay on at the club after he had been touted to be on his way out with the coach appearing not too keen to work with the striker.
Kadewere was linked with Montpellier in the same league, as well as Spanish second tier league side Leganes after he spent a season on loan at Mallorca in the La Liga.
Montpellier are reported to have cooled their interest in the player after having made moves for the former Harare City striker where at some point the deal was reported to have been “imminent.”
Kadewere sat out his team’s first two matches, but made his first appearance when he was introduced on 71 minutes to replace Swedish striker Amin Sarr.
Lyon were without star striker Alexandre Lacazette who was sitting out his first of three matches after receiving a red card in the 4-1 defeat to Montpellier.
With the former Arsenal hitman out, Kadewere is likely to get another opportunity when they host champions PSG on Sunday.
Lyon need improvement after picking up just one point out of a possible nine and currently sit third from bottom ahead of Lens and Clermont.
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Another Warriors star Jordan Zemura was a late second half substitute for Italian Serie A side Udinese in their 1-all draw with Salernitana on Monday.
Zemura came on for Ivory Coast’s Hassane Kamara with just nine minutes left on the clock. He also replaced the same player in his first Serie A match against Juventus last week with his side suffering a 3-nill battering.
In the Juventus match, Zemura was introduced at the start of the second half when Juventus was running riot.
He switched to the Italian topflight league after leaving Bournemouth in acrimonious circumstances at the end of last season.
Zemura is the first Zimbabwean to play in the Serie A. Another Warriors striker Prince Dube has made a bright start to the season for his Tanzanian side Azam, scoring goals in each of their first two league matches.
Dube was on target on Monday night when Azam beat Tanzania Prisons 3-1 at home, having been on the score sheet in the first game when they mauled Kitayosce 4-0 on August 16 on the road.
Last Friday, the lanky striker scored in Azam’s 2-1 win over Ethiopia’s Bahir Dar Kenema in the preliminary round second leg of the Caf Confederation Cup although his side was booted out of the tournament with a 4-3 defeat in a penalty shoot-out.
They lost the first leg 3-1 on August 20 in Ethiopia.
Dube’s scoring prowess shone in June during Azam’s last game of the 2022/23 league when he banged in four goals as they clobbered Polisi Tanzania 8-0 to end the season on position four.
He was a key member of the Warriors under coach Zdravko Logarušic of Croatia and Norman Mapeza before Zifa was handed the Fifa ban for government interference. The ban was, however, recently lifted and the Warriors will be featuring in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers that start in November.
Dube, Zemura and Kadewere are likely to return to the Warriors fold when they start 2016 World Cup qualifiers in November.
Zifa are in the process of appointing the national team coach who will preside over the qualifiers. They also hope to organise international friendlies during the Fifa international breaks in September and October.
Meanwhile, former Caps United striker Emmanuel Mandiranga was on target for his Mozambique side UD Songo in their 1-1 away draw in the preliminary round second leg of the Caf Champions League against Green Mamba of Eswatini on Saturday.
UD Songo won the first leg 1-0 and will be playing the second preliminary round first leg against Petro De Luanda of Angola on September 15.