Warriors skipper Musona plays down injury fears

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE captain Knowledge Musona is confident of being fit for the Warriors’ decisive 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday despite suffering a groin injury during training with his Belgian side SC Lokeren recently.

The 28-year-old lethal striker missed his team’s 3-1 win over reigning champions Club Brugge on Sunday.

This led to fears he may not recover in time for the Sunday clash.

Musona however told reporters after his arrival at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport midday Tuesday the Belgian side’s medical team had said the injury was not too serious and he was confident of featuring in the AFCON qualifier.

“I went for a scan and they saw a small rapture on my groin. They said it’s nothing. So I will see in the next coming days how I will recover,” Musona said.

“I’m feeling okay at this moment but I feel I have to go to the field and try to do the things I was doing when I was feeling better and see how everything goes but at this moment I can run normally, I feel no pain,” he said.

Musona was one of the three key players to arrive in the country on Monday ahead of the crucial match together with the Orlando Pirates duo of Kuda Mahachi and Marshal Munetsi.

His optimism to feature in Sunday’s match will come as good news to Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa, who will be missing the services of midfielder Marvellous Nakamba, who has already been ruled out of the clash after sustaining a hip injury.

Musona has been the rock for the Warriors, consistently producing his best in his country’s colours, and is the leading goal scorer in Zimbabwe’s AFCON qualifying group with four goals.

The Zimbabwean striker, who is on loan at SC Lokeren from fellow Belgian side Anderlecht, said there was no pressure on him or his colleagues ahead of the crucial tie where the Warriors need to avoid defeat in order to qualify for the continental showpiece to be held in Egypt.

“I think there’s no pressure for me and also for the guys. We just have to play like what we have done from the beginning.

“It’s a matter of finishing what we started because we’ve had a good campaign. We lost only once and we know we have a good record at home,” he said.

While the Warriors can still qualify for their second successive AFCON with a draw against Congo on Sunday, Musona said it was important to finish the campaign with a victory on home soil.

“We just have to go all out for a win. We are not going to say a draw is enough. When you play at home, you have to try to win and make the country proud.

“We are not going for anything less than a win and whatever comes at the end of the game, it has to be the best from us so that we can go to Egypt. There’s no pressure on us. We are going to deliver like we did before. The fans can expect a performance that we did in all our home games,” Musona said.

Warriors squad

Goalkeepers: George Chigova (Polokwane City) Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs), Petros Mhari (FC Platinum)

Defenders: Marshal Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Tendayi Darikwa (Nottingham Forest), Godknows Murwira (FC Platinum)

Midfielders: Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu), Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam) Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates), Talent Chawapiwa (Amazulu), Kelvin Lunga (SV Rödinghausen), Leeroy Mavhunga (Yadah FC)

Strikers: Knowledge Musona (SC Lokeren), Tino Kadewere (Le Havre), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Abbas Amidu (Arar FC), Evans Rusike (SuperSport United), Admiral Muskwe (Leicester City)