Chidzambwa names Warriors’ squad for CHAN qualifiers

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By Sports Reporter

WARRIORS coach Sunday Chidzambwa is set to continue in his role as coach despite presiding over a dismal Africa Cup of Nations (CHAN) campaign recently.

ZIFA president Felton Kamambo revealed recently that the technical team, which took charge of the Warriors during their 2019 AFCON finals campaign, will remain in place for the CHAN campaign despite the team’s poor results and pressure from the fans for the coach to be sacked.

That means head coach Chidzambwa, who has expressed interest to remain at the helm despite a public outcry, will be in charge of the team in the CHAN qualifiers together with his assistants, Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo.

CHAN is a competition reserved for players who are actively featuring in their domestic national competitions.

Chidzambwa on Monday announced a 32-men squad for the first of the two-legged tie against Indian Ocean Island minnows Mauritius away in Port Louis on Sunday.

The second leg is set for Barbourfields stadium in Bulawayo on August 4.

Notable inclusions in the squad includes Chicken Inn forward Clive Augusto, who is currently leading the race for the Golden Boot in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League with 13 goals from 15 matches.

Other strikers in the squad include Dynamos new signing Evans Katema and Augusto’s strike partner at Chicken Inn Aubrey Chirinda.

FC Platinum defender Lawrence Mhlanga, who was the only locally based player in the Warriors squad at the AFCON finals in Egypt, was also included in the squad.

CAPS United midfielder Ronald Chitiyo has also been included although he has hardly received regular game time at Makepekepe as he continues his comeback from a long term injury.

There was curiously no place for Chitiyo’s teamate Joel Ngodzo who has been enjoying a superb season for the Green Machine.

Should Zimbabwe manage victory in the encounter, they will face the winners of the match between South Africa and Lesotho in the final round of the qualifiers.

The tournament will take place in Ethiopia early next year.

The format of the competition remains unchanged and will be played on a zonal basis to determine the finalists for Cameroon.

Forty-seven teams are engaged in the battle for 15 places to join the hosts at the sixth CHAN finals tournament.

Democratic Republic of Congo are the record winners with two titles, the same as, Morocco, who are the reigning champions.

The biennial tournament will be hosted between January and February 2020 in Cameroon.

Zim CHAN squad:

Goalkeepers: Donavan Bernard (Chicken Inn), Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), Talbert Shumba (Chapungu), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum).

Defenders: Lawrence Mhlanga (FC Platinum ), Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Harare City), Byron Madzokere (Yadah), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Qadr Amini (Ngezi Platinum), Frank Mukarati (Ngezi Platinum), Donald Dzingai (Triangle).

Midfielders: Ralph Kawondera (Triangle), Kudzai Chigwida (Triangle), Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Nqobizita Masuku (Highlanders), Innocent Mucheneka (Chicken Inn), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Donald Teguru (Ngezi Platinum), Never Tigere (FC Platinum), Blessing Sarupinda (CAPS United), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah), Phinias Bhamusi (CAPS), Ian Nyoni (Chapungu), Malvern Gaki (Chicken Inn), Nigel Makumbe (ZPC Kariba), Ronald Chitiyo (CAPS United).

Strikers: Clive Augusto (Chicken Inn), Evans Katema (Dynamos), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Aubrey Chirinda (Chicken Inn).