Warriors launch COSAFA title defence

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THE Warriors begin their quest for a fifth Cosafa Cup title when they take on Malawi at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia on Saturday afternoon.
The tie will be followed by the clash between Namibia and former winners South Africa.
Zimbabwe won the southern African championship the last time it was held in 2009 after beating Zambia 3-1 in the final. It was the fourth time the Warriors had claimed the title.
The Warriors arrived in Lusaka on Thursday morning aboard a chartered Air Zimbabwe flight after Zifa president Cuthbert Dube paid for the trip to avoid a six-hour road trip.
Aboard the flight was ‘special’ assistant coach Ian Gorowa, who will be watching the Warriors for the first time since his appointment last year. Gorowa is also tipped to take over if ZIFA and current coach Klaus Dieter Pagels fail to reach an agreement over a contract extension.
The Warriors squad was whittled down to 19, from the original 20, after Nicholas Alifandika suffered a knee injury in training on Wednesday and the technical side decided against bringing in a
The national team, which will also face Mauritius on the weekend of July 26-28 in the first leg of the African Nations Championships (Chan) are captained by Highlanders attacking midfielder Masimba Mambare and includes fringe players like Felix Chindungwe, Hardlife Zvirekwi and Ronald Chitiyo.
Making a return to the team is Caps United goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube, who is expected to be handed a first team jersey, and FC Platinum midfielder Charles Sibanda.
How Mine’s Simba Sithole and Castle Lager Premier Soccer League top scorer Tendai Ndoro are expected to lead the Warriors attack in search of a semi-final place.
Malawi, on the other hand, are coached by former Warriors coach Tom Sainfiet, who only lasted three days in charge of Zimbabwe before he was bussed to Botswana after failing to get a work permit.
He took charge of the Flames of Monday after watching them fall 1-0 to Mozambique on Saturday in a friendly match.
The Warriors and Malawi drew 1-1 last month in a friendly handled by Pagels’ assistant Lloyd Mutasa.
Malawi have called-up veterans Joseph Kamwendo, once on the books of South African giants Orlando Pirates, and Fischer Kondowe.Advertisement