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Billiart, Rusike ruled out of Guinea tie
11/06/2013 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
Injury blow ... Khama Billiart
Zimbabwe end World Cup campaign winless
Sithole ruled out of Egypt clash
Rusike a doubt for Egypt trip

WARRIORS forwards Khama Billiart and Mathew Rusike have been ruled out of the trip to Guinea for the dead rubber 2014 World Cup qualifier at the weekend due to injuries.

The duo sat out Monday’s training session with muscle problems.

Chief striker Knowledge Musona also did not take part in the morning training session. Warriors coach Klaus Dieter Pagels expects Musona to travel to Guinea.

The German coach replaced the injured pair with Highlanders forward Masimba Mambare and Hwange defender Eric Chipeta.
Pagels said Billart and Rusike would return to their clubs in South Africa for treatment.

Chipeta and Mambare had failed to make the cut for the 18 man squad that lost 4-2 to Egypt last Sunday. But the two players – the only changes to the 18 man squad picked for the match against Egypt – will now make the trip to Conakry.

Pagels has kept faith with the squad he picked for the clash against the Pharaohs and revealed he would only make further changes to the squad if there were injuries. This means players like defender Nicholas Guyo, goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi, Abbas Amidu and Ronald Chitiyo will be dropped from the travelling squad.

Despite the defeat to Egypt, Pagels maintains his is a long-term project to build a strong team that will compete for a place in the 2015 African Cup of Nations finals.

“I think it doesn’t matter about this defeat on Sunday. We are on a rebuilding process. We need time. You cannot expect a lot from these guys now,” Pagels said.

“If we can have ten more matches at this level, I think they will be fine. For the future they are really a good team but we need time.

“I saw Felix Chindungwe in Zambia, he played very well but when he came back home he was nervous before the crowd and he made mistakes. But they have to learn. They have to learn not only to play football on the pitch but have to learn to manage situations around you. But I think they are on a good way.”

The Warriors coach insists they will be fighting for a win in Guinea to improve on the one point from four matches.

“We don’t want to continue to tell people we are rebuilding and we go there just to improve a little bit. No we want to win every match so we have to concentrate and avoid the mistakes we made against Egypt,” said Pagels.


Guinea, who are placed second on the table in the group with seven points – five points adrift of leaders Egypt, beat Mozambique 6-1 at the weekend. They had been held to a 0-0 draw in Maputo.

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