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Date: 24 March 2019

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Mapeza drops three players

[Posted 23 Mar 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Mushekwi and Mwanjali are expected to play key roles in Bamako on Saturday

Warriors coach Norman Mapeza has dropped three players ahead of the squad's departure to Bamako, Mali for the crunchy African Nations Cup 2012 qualifiers, whose finals will be staged in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Reigning goalkeeper of the year, Edmore Sibanda of CAPS United was dropped from the final 18 squad, alongside David Kutyauripo of Dynamos and Golden Boot winner Norman Maroto of FC Platinum, will not join the trip to Bamako.

Maroto in particular appears to have been the casualty of Cuthbert Malaljila's gate-crushing of the Bamako party a few days ago. Had Malajila not run away from the civil war currently prevailing in Libya, he might not even have been called up for camp.

Tight competition for goalkeepers has seen Sibanda, who could have been useful in free-kicks situations, being dropped from the squad. Washington Arubi and Tapuwa Kapin have particularly been in good form for their respective clubs since beginning of the year.

“There was stiff competition in camp, but the coach dropped those players because he felt the selected ones had excelled in the respective positions.

"The coach thinks the final squad is the best after excuses and injuries affected the run-up to the game. We are confident of coming up with a good result,” team Manager Shariff Mussa revealed.

The Warriors have been hit by withdrawals of three key players ahead of the Bamako tie.

Sensational young striker Knowledge Musona withdrew due to a shoulder injury, right back Noel Kaseke is the latest casualty after limping off in a league match in Cyprus over the weekend.

Onismor Bhasera suffered a serious injury at his club Plymouth Argyle in England recently, and will not play any part in Bamako.

A fourth player who was expected to replace Kaseke, Gilbert Mapemba reported to the camp this week and only then did the CAPS defender reveal his serious injury to the technical team, which rules him out of the squad.

Musa Mguni and/or Takesure Chinyama who were expected to replace Musona in the squad have both asked to be excused, citing lack of match-fitness as a factor.

The absence of the key players will see some changes in the Warriors starting line-up.

The sensisble thing for Mapeza to do with the right-back position, is to employ captain Method Mwanjali on the right back, given the fact that the former CAPS player currently plays right back at his club Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa.

Either Daniel Vheremu or Guthrie Zhokinyu can replace Mwanjali in the heart of defence, and partner Thomas Sweswe. Neither of Vheremu or Zhokinyu can operate the right flank better than Mwanjali. That way Mapeza will achieve the necessary balance in defence.

Dropping Kutyauripo gives credence to to the assumption that Mapeza is set to employ Mwanjali in his best position, on the right channel of defence. That way, the skipper will give more to the team, than he would otherwise from a central defence position.

Mapeza could give Under 23 captain Qadr Amin a left back role to replace Bhasera. Alternatively, he could employ the versatile Vusa Nyoni of Germinal Beerschot in Belgium on the left back.

Edward Sadomba of Al Hilal in Sudan is set to partner  in-form striker Nyasha Mushekwi upfront. Should  either Khama Billiat and Ovidy Karuru on the midfield wing channels, or  Archieford Gutu and Denver Mukamba, if selected to play, be in good form, the Warriors could return from Bamako with a positive result.

What, with the midfield General Tinashe Nengomasha of Kaizer Chiefs bossing up the midfield, ably supported by Justice Majabvi of LASK Linz in Austria.

There is no reason for Mapeza to mourn the absence of Musona, Kaseke or Bhasera. Rather, he should turn the situation into an opportunity to try out other competent players at his disposal.

The absence of the injured trio should never serve as an excuse for playing badly in Bamako. The players available for selection are good enough to do the nation proud. 

The Warriors' squad is set to leave for Bamako on Wednesday. 


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