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Date: 28 July 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Zim players in top form for February

[Posted 27 Feb 2013]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Chinyama has re-discovered the goal scoring touch he once enjoyed in Poland

Zimbabwean players have been seeing action at their foreign-based clubs during this past month of February. Below we consider those whose performances have caught the eye since the beginning of the year, and particularly during this month ending today.

European-based players

Vusa Nyoni appears to have been probably the most outstanding of Zimbabwean players playing proffessional football in Europe during February. Nyoni's new club Mons  won three matches out of the four played in February, winning 3-0 against Waasland-Beveren, followed by a surprise 1-0 away win at giants Standard Liege,  then a surprise 0-2 home defeat to Gent, before bouncing back with a 1-0 away victory at Kortrijk. The Zimbabwean started in all the four matches, and was only substituted in the 0-2 defeat to Gent, but only in the 88th minute. Nyoni has been an integral first team player for his new club. 

Bradley Pritchard has been a regular for Charlton Athletics in the English Championship, the 2nd tier of English football. He has displayed great form, creating opportunities for strikers from his attacking midfield position. Pritchard is an impact player, a hard worker in the mould of the late Warriors'star midfielder Benjamin Nkhonjera. He passes the ball very well and the senior national team of Zimbabwe certainly lacks the quality that he provides. It was shocking to read Warriors'coach Pagels criticising the player in a national newspaper, arguing that the player lacks quality, judging the 28-year old by the displays during his call-up to the national team under Rahman Gumbo where the player never had a fair chance to play in a real match situation.

Quincy Antipas has been playing friendly matches for his club Brondby who are fighting relegation in the Danish Super league and was injured two weeks ago and is recovering ahead resumption of the Danish topflight league.

Forgotten Defender Costa Nhamoinesu is at the heart of a revival of Zaglebie Lubin in the Polish Ekstraklasa, and at resumption of the Polish topflight league, Zaglebie posted a good 3-0 victory at home against Pogon Szczecin last Friday night. Nhamoinesue, as usual started anad finished the entire match. Why Zimbabwe Warriors'coaches ignore a top performer like Costa and prefer players playing in inferior leagues from England is as strange as Pagels criticism of in-form Pritchard.

Great news for the Warriors is that Mike Temwanjira is back from a long lay off as a result of injury, and featured for the entire 90-minutes in FC Vaslui's 0-0 draw at home to former champions and UEFA Champions participants CFR Cluj. The draw saw Vaslui drop to 4th place in the competitive Liiga 1 table, Romania's topflight league.Its good to see the talented 'Mbozha' back in the think of things in Europe!

There was not so good news for Pagels and the Warriors as star Warriors striker Knowledge Musona remains frozen out of the Bundesliga first team Augsburg for reasons unknown. During the first two weeks in the year, his omission for two weeks was for disciplinary reasons after he apparently reported late for training...we certainly know Musona better than that! It is hoped the hugely talented player will bounce back sooner rather than later. Other European based players are Onismor Bhasera who is clearly a misfit in League Two in England, and the more he stays in that league with his forever struggling Plymouth Argyle, the more he may hurt his international career with the Warriors. It would be unfair to select him ahead of say Nhamoinesu who is playing regularly in Poland, and in a toplfight league for that matter. Ovidy Karuru has not been doing badly in Belgium, but he seems to have really fallen out of favour with...is it ZIFA or Pagels...noone knows what the real truth is.

South Africa

Two Zimbabwean players have become famous for banging in four goals during the month of February. Congratulations to Takesure Chinyama for scoring four in the Champions League preliminary round against African minnows  Comoros side Djabal whom Orlando Pirates beat 5-0 two weeks ago.

Another Warriors striker young Brian Abbas Amidu emulated his countryman and hit Cape Town All Stars for four in  Nedbank last 32 round to lead his Black Leopards side to a 5-4 victory over the amateur side from Cape Town.

A Zimbabwean player who certainly deserves mention is probably the most outstanding of all foreign-based players, veteran Esrom Nyandoro. Nyandoro has clearly been Mamelodi Sundowns' most outstanding player in midfield. He is in such irresistible form it will be foolish of any national team coach to ignore his form, where a national team is currently struggling to reproduce holding midfielders of his calibre. Nyandoro deserves a recall to the Warriors' squad, not as a defender this time, but in familiar territory as a holding midfielder.

Willard Katsande has also been imperious for Kaizer Chiefs in the heart of midfield, and he will be a very good addition to Pagels' midfield list of hardman. Good thing is that he can also play in a more advanced central role ahead of Nyandoro, especially when playing away.

At Kaizer Chiefs, it is good to see Matthew Rusike and Kingston Nkatha getting game time, and the two players making the most of the chances. Both have scored a goal apiece since the beginning of the match, and have shown good form. Do they deserve a call-up to the squad for the Egypt game? Its debatable, where a toss has to be made  involving Chinyama and other strikers.

The other strikers we have in mind include the Leopards boy who scored four goals on Wednesday night, Amidu, new Supersport United signing Simba Sithole, who, despite  playing regularly, has not yet found the net in an official match for Supersport, yet he remains a great striker. It will be fool-hardy for any coach to stick to players like Musona and the other players based in Zimbabwe who have not really been playing competitive football, and ignore the likes of Chinyama who has shown great scoring form even during friendly matches during the AFCON break.

Khama Billiat remains a good midfielder despite playing in a seas of mediocrity at an off-colour but gifted Ajax Cape Town outfit this season. 

Gilbert Mapemba has been playing well on the Moroka Swallows right back. AND PLEASE Mr. Pagels, do not play him in a flat 3-5-2 formation. He is a right back, and not a central defender!

And again asseblief Mr. Pagels, do not call Lincoln Zvasiya to the squad when you can clearly see the boy has not been lucky with game time at Chiefs. Don't make a mockery of the Zimbabwean team by including players who are off-form because they are young. The national team is for players who have the confidence of playing regularly at their clubs. We do not mind if you field locally based players who are competitive and are deserving because they are in form. We cannot build with players who are not getting game time at their clubs. There is just no time for such a re--building project. Rebuilding is sick excuse for failure. Thrown in a competitive top 11 players from in-form players.

Carlington Nyadombo remains a good central defender and has been playing very well for Amazulu in the heart of defence. Its a pity Method Mwanjali is banned from playing for the Warriors for now, but he is doing a great job at Sundowns. His countryman at the Pretoria club Nyasha Mushekwi is however off-colour, and at this stage does not deserve a call-up.

Washington Arubi has been dofing great in AmaTuks colours and certainly derserves  a call-up to the Warriors squad.  

It was great too see  the gifted Denver Mukamba getting a run against Chiefs this past weekend. He showed hunger and good skill. It will be great to see him in the squad for the Egypt match.   

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