Divine Lunga out of DRC ties
SOUTH Africa-based Warriors’ left-back Divine Lunga has been ruled out of Zimbabwe’s back-to-back 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Democratic Republic of Congo after picking an injury on Sunday.
Zimbabwe play the first-leg of the crunch back-to-back meetings against DRC in Kinshasa on Saturday, with the reverse fixture set for Harare three days later.
The Warriors leave the country this evening without Lunga, whose star has been rising with every game.
Lunga has been in terrific form since joining Durban Absa Premiership side Lamontville Golden Arrows in August. The former Chicken Inn player was stretchered off in the 60th minute during his team’s 1-0 win over Black Leopards.
Lunga’s Warriors teammate Knox Mutizwa scored the solitary goal of the match.
Wellington Mpandare, the Warriors team manager, said they will not replace Lunga, adding they have adequate cover for the injured 23-year-old left-back.
Bloemfontein Celtics left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai, who sat out when the Warriors drew 1-1 against Congo in Brazzaville, and FC Platinum’s Kevin Moyo, are capable of playing on the left side of the defence, easing national team coaches’ worries.
Pfumbidzai will start ahead of Moyo at leftback, with Nottingham Forest wingback Tendai Darikwa marking his debut for the Warriors possibly on the right side of defence ahead of Caps United’s Eric Chipeta. Kaizer Chiefs central defender Teenage Hadebe will partner Wales-based Alec Mudimu.
Meanwhile, North African referees will handle the Warriors and DRC games in Kinshasa and Harare.
Moroccan referee Redouane Jiyed will be in charge of the first-leg to be played at the Complexe Omnisports Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa.
He will be assisted by compatriots Yahya Nouali and Essam Benbapa, with Samir Guezzaz as the fourth official.
Cameroonian Alim Konate Abubakar will be the match commissioner.
Egyptian referees will be in charge of the reverse fixture scheduled for the National Sports Stadium on October 16.
Gehad Gerisha, who officiated at the Fifa World Cup in Russia, will be at the centre, assisted by Ahmed Hossam Eldin and Tahssen Abo El Sadat.
Ibrahim Nour Eldin will be the fourth official, while Namibian Shilunga Eratsus is the match commissioner.