WHEN all has been said and done, it’s down to serious business at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday as the Warriors seek to put one over rivals Zambia and map a way to the 2014 African Nations Championships (Chan) finals.
The bitter rivals met in the final of the Cosafa Castle Cup on July 20 and Zambia won 2-0, to complete a double after also beating the same opposition by the same score-line in an international friendly in June.
Now, according to new Warriors coach Ian Gorowa, that is history. And the history books must be re-written on Sunday.
“Our immediate task is to qualify for Chan and we can use that to prepare for Afcon 2015 qualifiers using the same locally based players,” Gorowa said Thursday.
“So we need to win against Zambia so that we have a base from where to start in terms of preparations.”
The Warriors preparations went a gear up at Gwanzura Stadium as defender Eric Chipeta, midfielder Devon Chafa, skipper Masimba Mambare and striker Tendai Ndoro returned for light sessions after missing out the training the previous day.
The only addition to the squad has been Chicken Inn midfielder Danny Phiri, who will have to battle with it out with Chafa, Peter Moyo and Mambare for a place in the congested midfield.
“We have had a full squad in training this morning and this is encouraging,” said Gorowa.
“Our discussions with the players have centred on nothing else other than to win on Sunday. We did not even talk about the past losses because that will unsettle them.
“We want to focus on what we can do best in attack and set pieces, defending and taking them in a match situation. Our finishing against Mauritius was not quite up to scratch and we have been doing some drills to perfect that.”
The former Dynamos and Black Rhinos striker is likely to start with Ndoro ahead of Nelson Maziwisa who, after scoring a brace against Mauritius in the first leg, went to sleep in the return leg missing a glut of chances.
The other change could see Blessing Chimwamuchere making way for the returning
Augustine Mbara, who missed the first leg after a family bereavement.
The Zambians arrive in Harare on Friday while eight busses, provided by the Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sport, are expected in the capital on Saturday and Sunday morning.Advertisement
Chipolopolo will arrive without danger-man Mukuka Mulenga who was injured in the second leg against Botswana which they won 2-0 in Ndola, but they still have the dangerous attacking trio of Bornwell Mwape, Festus Mbewe and Evans Kangwa. Kangwa and Mbewe were on target in the win over the Zebras of Botswana.
Mukuka has been replaced by Zanaco’s Rodreck Kabwe. Kangwa said they will not take Zimbabwe lightly despite enjoying a healthy record in 2013 over the archrivals from south of the Zambezi.
“Zimbabwe is a good team. They are strong and we are working hard. We have to be disciplined so that we can do well,” Kangwa said.