Pa­suwa names War­riors group qual­i­fier team

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo

WAR­RIORS coach Cal­listo Pa­suwa yes­ter­day named a 21-man pro­vi­sional squad for the fi­nal Group L To­tal African Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fier against Guinea set for Stade du 28 Septem­bre in Con­akry on Septem­ber 4.

Team man­ager Shar­iff Mussa said play­ers are ex­pected to re­port for camp on Sun­day, with train­ing set to be­gin the fol­low­ing day.

“All play­ers are ex­pected to troop into camp on Au­gust 28 and train­ing ses­sions be­gin on the fol­low­ing day,” said Mussa.

There are only two new faces in the team as the tech­ni­cal bench stuck to the squad that did duty in the pre­vi­ous qual­i­fiers. Mamelodi Sun­downs’ play­maker Khama Bil­liat and Caps United’s Hardlife Zvirekwi are the two no­table ab­sen­tees from the squad.

Zvirekwi is serv­ing a one-match sus­pen­sion while Bil­liat, ac­cord­ing to Pa­suwa, was left out for fear of “burn­ing him out”.

Or­lando Pi­rates’ in-form striker Tendai Ndoro and Bel­gian side KV Oos­tende’s Knowl­edge Mu­sona will lead the Zim­babwe strike force. Also called up is Nether­lands-based for­mer Bantu Rovers ju­nior Marvelous Nakamba.

“With Khama, we have de­cided to let him rest be­cause he has been busy with his club’s African sa­fari com­mit­ments,” Pa­suwa told the of­fi­cial Zifa web­site.

He, how­ever, un­der­scored the im­por­tance of the match against Guinea de­spite his charges hav­ing al­ready qual­i­fied for Gabon 2017.

“This match is still im­por­tant to the team be­cause we are go­ing to use it as a yard­stick to mea­sure our progress as a unit and our pre­pared­ness for the Gabon Af­con fi­nals. That is why only Bil­liat, whom we thought might have fa­tigue is­sues, is the only reg­u­lar player in­ten­tion­ally left out of the squad. We want to main­tain our un­beaten record also,” said Pa­suwa.

Zim­babwe and Guinea have pre­vi­ously met nine times with the West Africans win­ning four times, while Zim­babwe have posted a sin­gle win, with the other four matches end­ing in a stale­mate.

Zim­babwe’s first and only win over Guinea came 23 years ago on Septem­ber 26, 1993, in a World Cup qual­i­fier that the then Dream Team won 1-0 through a third-minute Agent Sawu goal in front of a packed Na­tional Sport Sta­dium.

Tendai Ndoro

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