WARRIORS captain Willard Katsande has warned of the threat posed by Swaziland and urged his teammates not to be complacent when the two sides face off the 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in back-to-back football clashes over the Easter holiday.
The two teams face off in a Group L match at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba on Good Friday, before the reverse fixture at the National Sports Stadium in Harare three days later on Easter Monday.
With the two teams tied at the top of the group on four points, it remains a delicately balanced group and Katsande believes Swaziland who have beaten Guinea away 2-1 and held Malawi to a 2-2 draw can only be underestimated at their own peril.
“For us, we badly need the full points in both matches to qualify,” said Katsande as he prepared to fly in from his base in South Africa on Tuesday night.
“We need to be really focused. Swaziland are a very good side. It’s the reason why they are joint top goal scorers; it’s not by accident.
“They deserve that position and that tells you we can only underestimate them at our own peril. They also have most of their players playing in their league and are used to each because they play regularly.
“But we have got the quality and the determination. We can win both matches.”
Warriors talisman, Knowledge Musona, who plays for KV Oostende, was reported to have arrived in the country on Tuesday after having missed his connecting flight in South Africa from his base in Belgium, while Katsande, Nyasha Mushekwi and Marvelous Nakamba also arrived on Tuesday.
Washington Arubi was said to have had a problem with his passport, but coach Kalisto Pasuwa said it was being sorted out while Khama Billiat and Cuthbert Malajila, who were with South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in Congo-Brazzaville for a Caf club game, are only expected to join camp on Wednesday.
The team is expected to leave for Swaziland on Thursday.
Swaziland have in recent times managed to upset giants, including holding Nigeria to a goalless draw at the Somhlolo in a World Cup qualifier last year before stunning Guinea 2-1 in an Afcon qualifier.
Pasuwa said he was looking more at the tactical line-up for the game.
“Some players had no game time at their respective clubs, so here we were trying to assess their conditions in terms of their fitness and trying to maintain or improve it.Advertisement
“But for this training, we are looking more at the tactical side. We will have to do our best to come out with a positive result.”
Three England-based players Brendan Galloway of Everton, Tendayi Darikwa of Burnley and Macauley Bonne with Colchester United had been included in the squad, but are all not available and there won’t be any adjustments.