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Date: 14 December 2018

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Warriors in Zebras test...but real preps MUST begin

[Posted 30 Jul 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Warriors in Zebras test...but real preps MUST begin

Zimbabwe's national soccer team, the Warriors, have secured a friendly match against the resurgent Zebras of Botswana in Selibe Phikwe on Wednesday.

The Zebras have already beaten Tunisia 1-0 away in Tunis and Chad by the same scoreline at home in the 2012 Africa Nations Cup qualifiers for Group K They currently lead the group with 6 points following their 100% record so far. 

The arranged friendly, which will fall on a non- FIFA official date for friendlies has been set down for Wednesday 4th August next week. The friendly match will involve only the inexperienced local players at international level.

The team that caretaker coach Norman Mapeza has named for this friendly tie, lacks about nine members of the locally based Warriors who thumped Seyechelles 6-2 on aggregate to qualify for the CHAN finals in Sudan next year. By July, former CAPS United players Nyasha Mushekwi, Method Mwanjali, Tafadzwa Rusike and Lionel Mtizwa had been lost to the local league when they joined their new South African clubs for pre-season training.

Four of the original CHAN squad will be excluded at the instruction of ZIFA following revelations that they have not heeded the call to come and testify during the on-going investigations into match-fixing allegations which have rocked Zimbabwean soccer. Daniel Veremu of Gunners and the Dynamos trio of Cuthbert Malajila, Benjamin Marere and Guthrie Zhokinyu have been dropped for Wednesday's tie for this reason.

Of the usual CHAN regulars, only Ashley Rambanepasi, Edmore Sibanda, Gilbert Mapemba, Gilbert Banda, Bhekimpilo Ncube and Zephaniah Ngodzo are in the squad to face Botswana on Wednesday.

The major value of the low keynote friendly on Botswana is to help Mapeza prepare the team mainly for the CHAN finals. It remains to be seen if any of the remaining members of the CHAN and the new players called for camp will make it for the African Nations Cup qualifiers which will commence in September.

ZIFA claim that another friendly match is being organised for the 11th August.

"We are using the locals for this game but on 11 August which is a Fifa date we are looking at having another game where we will assist the coach to bring in some of the foreign-based players he may want to look at.

"Right now we have contacted such countries like Mozambique, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo with a view to either playing them here or away, Benedict Moyo, ZIFA board member told the Herald newspaper on Thursday.

It is very interesting that at this stage ZIFA is still trying to secure a friendly match for a FIFA date which they are expected to have known for the last six months. Even more interesting is the fact that most of the teams they are targeting are already booked for friendly matches on the 11th August. Surely this ZIFA board needs to demonstrate that it is better at planning than its predecessor, who will be remembered for having contributed to the Warriors' failure to qualify for Nations Cup 2010 through shoddy planning.

Squad for the friendly match

Goalkeepers: Edmore Sibanda, Washington Arubi

Defenders: Gilbert Mapemba, Qadr Amin, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Gilbert Banda

Midfielders: Ashley Rambanapasi, Bhekimpilo Ncube, Elvis Meleka, Charles Chiutsa, Allan Gahadzikwa, Richard Mteki

Strikers: Evans Gwekwerere, Charles Sibanda.

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