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Date: 21 March 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Zim Warriors in foreign leagues-round up

[Posted 25 Sep 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Key Zimbabwe midfielders Katsande & Nengomasha are back for the Angola tie!

Zimbabwe has a number of players plying their trade
at various European leagues, but the majority are based in South Africa. We
look at potential national team players who have been active at their foreign
or local  clubs in the past three weeks, in view of Zimbabwe's upcoming
fixture against Angola.

The Beezsports team has decided to look at the
players based on the positions such as goalkeeping position, defence positions,
midfield position and strike force.


South African-based Warriors skipper Tapuwa Kapini
of Amazulu will be out of action at least for the remainder of the after a scan
on his injury which flared up after he prematurely returned to action against
Angola in Harare early this month, has revealed the Warriors coach Rahman
Gumbo's worst fears.

One of Kapini's understudies, Motor Action's Marlon
is also currently nursing an injury picked up prior to the Angola fixture.

This leaves Rahman Gumbo with limited choices,
being able to pick from two very talented keepers in 23-year old Ariel Sibanda
of title-chasing Highlanders and Castle Lager log leaders Dynamos' George
. Gumbo may be fortunate if a miracle happens and the Zifa announces
that Washington Arubi of University of Pretoria of South Africa has been
cleared of all wrong-doing in the alleged match-fixing currently under
investigations. The Ethic Committee led by retired judge Ibrahim Ahmed has for
some strange reasons taken longer than is expected to finalise the cases which
have kept the international careers of many talented Zimbabwean players in
limbo. What concerns is that most of these players, it is likely to turn out,
are innocent of the offences they are suspected of having committed. Zimbabwe
needs the services of Arubi, whether Kapini is available or not. If anything,
it is difficult to say which goalkeeper is better than the other.


Warriors central defenders Carlington Nyadombo of
Amazulu FC in the ABSA premiership of SA and Esrom Nyandoro of Mamelodi
Sundowns have been seeing action at their clubs in the past two weeks. Nyandoro
though, being versatile, has been utilised in the midfield holding position at
his club and has not disappointed.

Other options for the central defensive role
include Arnold Chaka who plays in Botswana who has been playing regularly for
his club. Dickson Choto of Polish giants Legia Warsaw is struggling to break
into the Legia first eleven, and might therefore not be a good option. Patson
and Innocent Mapuranga of Highlanders are currently enjoying game time.
The best option for the central role, FC Platinum's Daniel Vheremu is currently
not available, but could be available if cleared by the Ethics Committee on
time. His availability could see Esrom being pushed to central midfield role.

There is however concern over the fitness of
England-based Onismor Bhasera and Cyprus based Noel Kaseke, after the two did
not feature for their clubs last weekend and were not even on the match day
squad. The situation looks worse for Kaseke who has not played regularly for
struggling Omonia Nicosia in the Cypriot  First Division. He appears to be
struggling to break into his club's first eleven or match day squad. Bhasera on
the other hand was absent from the Plymouth Argyle match day squad over the weekend.

In terms of potential replacements, versatile Vusa
of Germinal Beerschot who could also be utilised at left back, is an
ever-present star player for his Belgian club, and starred in Beerschot's 2-1
win  over Kortrijk on Saturday. Interestingly, Nyoni played as a
left-sided full-back. Another potential left back who has not been fortunate
with call-ups, Costa Nhamoinesu plays regularly for his Polish Ekstraklasa club
Zaglebie Lubin and featured in his club's 2-1 loss away at Ruch Chorzow over the weekend. Probably the
Warriors' best option should Bhasera be unavailable is without a
doubt suspended Zhainu "Jimmy" Jambo of Kaizer Chiefs. If he is
cleared on time, there is no doubt that Gumbo should opt for him at the back if
he plans to play with a flat back four. Jambo is playing the best
football of his life and has been outstanding on the left channel of defence
for Chiefs.

The right back will prove problematic for Gumbo
given the inactivity and poor form of potential right back players. It would
not be advisable for Gumbo to opt for Cyprus-based Noel Kaseke who is currently inactive for Omonia Nicosia, for one
reason or the other. CAPS United's Tapiwa Khumbuyani is not an option either as he is struggling to break into the CAPS starting eleven. Another option Oscar
is facing the same fate at Moroka Swallows, and it would be a gamble to
throw him into the deep end in a tough match in Luanda between 12-14

The right back is one area that Gumbo and his
technical team need to spend time working on.  Even if Gilbert Mapemba of Moroka Swallows is
cleared on time, he does not appear like a better option given his limited game
time at Swallows these days. If cleared, Lincoln Zvasiya may prove to be a
better option. BUT Zvasiya is not a natural right back and not so much of a
ma-marker. He is more accustomed to the sweeper's role or a central defensive
role. The best option would be to audition Arnold Chaka for the right-back
role, or choose to recall David Kutyauripo or give a call up to Thomas
or Patson Jaure of Dynamos


Zimbabwe is spoilt for choice in the holding
midfield position with the availability of two very key players, vice-captain
Tinashe Nengomasha
of Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs' Willard Katsande. Both
missed the first leg against Angola in Harare. Good news is that the two
players can safely play together, having done that on a good number of
occasions for Zimbabwe and Chiefs. Katsande in particular showed great
technique and a return to fitness in the league fixture against Black Leopards
in a mid-week match won by Chiefs 2-1. The former Ajax Cape Town man then
produced a polished performance in Chiefs' 3-1 victory over Wits last night.
Katsande's marking and ball distribution were great and could persuade coach
Stuart Baxter to field him ore often, and allow Reneilhwe Letsholontyane to
become the creative hub of Amakhosi. Nengomasha also showed fairly good form.

Ovidy Karuru who missed the 1st leg, will be
available as he has now settled at new club OH Leuven in Belgium's Jupiler League where he now
commands a regular spot in the team. He played well in his club's 2-2 draw away
at Lokeren.

Archford Gutu was a 46th minute substitute for
Kalmar FF in the Swedish Allsvenskan. He, as he has often done in Sweden,
played in a more central position as opposed to the more offensive role which
the former Ajax Cape Town and Dynamos star prefers. Archie will be a very good
option for a central midfield role in front of the gritty pair of Katsande and
Nengomasha in a possible 4-3-2-1, a formation which is good defensively and can be helpful offensively when one plays with fast midfielders like Khama Billiat and Karuru.

English Championship club Charlton Athletics attacking midfielder Bradley Pritchard is a player who deserves a call up to the national team. He started the season like a house on fire before his club started losing some matches recently. Pritchard played in Charlton's 2-1 away win at Ipswich Town. He will add some attacking flair to a Warriors squad already teeming with the attacking skills of Billiat, Karuru, Mukamba, Gutu and Vusa Nyoni when he is utilised as an attacking midfielder.

Billiat himself is playing well and regularly for Ajax Cape Town. A potential left sided attacking midfielder for Zimbabwe, Tafadzwa "Fire" Rusike has really been on fire for his Ajax who are having an indifferent season in South Africa, four matches into the season.

University of Pretoria's Lionel Mtizwa is fast getting back to his usual best and has been handed a captain's arm band at the club as he is the first player on the coach's list. He provided an itch-perfect pass which produced a goal in AmaTuks' surprise 3-2 victory over Moroka Swallows. Mtizwa will have to find out if he can be cleared to become available for Zimbabwe, if the clearance happens before the end of the month anyway.

Brian Amidu scored a contender for goal of the season in Black Leopards' 2-1 away loss to Chiefs at the Soccer City Stadium during a mid-week match last week. What a cracker of a goal the young attacker scored against his former club! Amidu may not get the chance to break into the Warriors' squad if he gets called up, but he is definitely one for the future.

In the local Castle lager premiership, Dynamos' Denver Mukamba and Monomotapa's Ronald Chitiyo have been impressive.


Of all the foreign-based Warriors strikers who are currently available for selection, there is no single one who has been scoring goals like two of the suspended strikers.

Kingston Nkatha, despite having only scored twice in five league matches, has by far been Zimbabwe's most enterprising striker. Nkatha is one striker who makes the life of defenders unbearable for 90 minutes because of his work-rate, close ball control, speed and running off the ball, coupled with accurate passing which creates scoring opportunities for fellow teammates. Unfortunately brilliant Nkatha, like his fellow countryman Cuthbert Malajila who is also on fire for Maritzburg United in the ABSA premiership, is unavailable due to the Asiagate scandal which is taking forever to be completed. Malajila's strike partner at Maritzburg Terrence Mandaza is once again getting game time, but has not been luck to find the back of the net, where as his countryman Cuthbert has scored twice and is playing great football in South Africa.

Orlando Pirates' Warriors striker Takesure Chinyama showed serious rustiness and he was frustrated for the 55 minutes he was on the pitch in Pirates' narrow 1-0 league match last week. If he plays more games at Bucs, it will be good news for Gumbo as he needs a trusted gunslinger upfront. Suspended Nyasha Mushekwi remains Zimbabwe's top target man and he has already scored twice for struggling Mamelodi Sundowns. 

Germany-based Knowledge Musona will soon be available for selection as he has recovered from an injury. Until his injury, he was playing regularly for his club Augsburg FC where he has been loaned out to by Hoffenheim, but the gifted striker has been struggling to score goals because his club is really struggling at the bottom of the Bundesliga log a few games into the new season. Another striker, Quincy Antipas of SonderjyskE of Denmark has been out injured, and his club has surrendered an early lead at the top of the Superliga and are now somewhere near the bottom. FC Vaslui of Romania's Mike Temwanjira has been absent from the Vaslui match day squad ever since the opening of the season. Even if he returns to action this weekend or next weekend, it is doubtful if Big Mike will be fit enough to force his way into Gumbo's squad for Angola. Unfortunate goal machine Musa Mguni is still on the sidelines in Russia and he is not part of on-fire Terek Grozny who find themselves in very unfamiliar territory at the top of the Russian Premier League. In fact, word from Russia appears to suggest that Mguni is now a free agent. And it appears like a VERY CRUEL end to Mguni's short spell in Russia, ended by his participation in the Warriors' 2-1 loss to Burundi in Bujumbura where he was injured and had to be on the sidelines for many months.

Potential Warriors striker Edward Masinwa has been getting regular football for Ethnikos Achna in Cyprus' top division, even though he appeared as a 46th minute substitute in his club's 2-0 loss to Olympiakos over the weekend.

An injury to Rodwell Chinyengetere is a blow to Gumbo's plans as he has to look for a target man. The Hwange FC man broke his shin in two places over the weekend during a league match and will most certainly miss the remainder of the season of most of what remains of the season. But Nelson Maziwisa has been a revelation for his club Shabanie this season and remains the country's Castle Lager PSL leading  goal scorer, and has been looking good since March.


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