Class of 2014-Where are they now?
GEORGE CHIGOVA, Milton Ncube, Partson Jaure, Eric Chipeta, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Danny Phiri, Masimba Mambare, Ali Sadiki, Peter Moyo, Kuda Mahachi and Simba Sithole started for the Warriors in the historic Chan semi final match against Libya played on January 29, 2014 at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Donald Ngoma replaced Mambare after 52 minutes of play before coach Ian Gorowa introduced Simba Nhivi Sithole for his namesake 25 minutes before full time as he sought for the elusive goal.
That match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes of play and the regular penalty kicks failed to separate the two nations before Zimbabwe succumbed 4-5 in the sudden death penalties.
Tawanda Muparati, Augustine Mbara, Nelson Mazivisa, Oscar Machapa, Munyaradzi Diya, Charles Sibanda, Felix Chindungwe, Pascal Manhanga, Themba Ndlovu and Tafadzwa Dube were the unused substitutes for the duration of the match.
Chipeta, Phiri and Zvirekwi converted while Nhivi and Moyo missed to leave the scores at 3-3 after the first 10 spot kicks.
Jaure converted in the sudden death, while Ncube and Sadiki missed before Libyan keeper Mohamed Fathi Abdaula beat Chigova to send the Warriors tumbling out of the tourney.
Sadly that was to be the end of Zimbabwe’s fairytale run during the 2014 Chan tournament, the closest the Warriors have come to winning any piece of Continental silverware.
Now, The Sunday Mail looks at what became of that 23-man squad that did the nation proud at the Chan 2014 finals.
The former Dynamos keeper, who conceded only two goals at Chan 2014, signed a three year contract with South African Absa Premiership side Supersport United two weeks after tournament.
After a frustrating year and half of inaction at Skeema Matsantsantsa, Chigova packed his bags and joined Polokwane City where he signed a 3-year contract in July 2015.
The former Highlanders utility player signed a two-year deal with Ajax Cape Town, three months after the tournament.
The deal expires in May.
After a frustrating wait Jaure, who was named among the best 11 players of the tournament, finally made his move from DeMbare to University of Pretoria in July 2014.
His solid show at the heart of the Warriors defence, where he partnered skipper Jaure, persuaded then newly promoted Absa Premiership side Chippa United to sign the former Hwange defender in May 2014.
The Sprouting Academy product is having a decent time at the Chilli Boys.
The diminutive player is still at Caps United and he will lead the Warriors at this year’s edition.
“Deco” was linked with numerous teams in South Africa, namely Polokwane City and Free State Stars, while interest also came from Botswana but the gritty anchorman is yet to find a foreign move.
He was ruled out of this year’s Chan squad due to an ankle injury and is expected to recover in time to lead Chicken Inn in their maiden CAF Champions League match against Mamelodi Sundowns next month.
A nagging knee injury has kept the former Highlanders and Motor Action linkman out of action for most of his stay at Dynamos since making the blockbuster move from Bosso just before the Chan 2014 finals.
The 27-year-old left footer is now based in the DRC where he turns out for African giants TP Mazembe.
Sadiki moved from FC Platinum on a 5-year deal signed in May 2014.
The player they nicknamed “Rio” at Highlanders following a glitzy 2013 season, has had a stuttering career since the 2014 finals.
His dream move to Mpumalanga Black Aces in July 2014 collapsed at the last minute after he failed to impress coach Clive Barker.
He later moved to South Africa’s First National Division side Witbank Spurs in November 2014.
The poster boy of the tournament, thanks to his flashy hairstyle and dazzling skills that saw him also make it into the tournament’s best XI, Mahachi signed for Mamelodi Sundowns in March 2014.
He officially joined his new teammates the following July.
The former Chicken Inn winger was however frozen out of action at the star studded Brazilians and opted for a season long loan deal to Golden Arrows in September last year.
The forceful striker, who scored the opening goal in the Warriors’ 2-1 victory over Mali in the round of eight, signed a twoyear contract with Ajax Cape Town soon after that game.
However, Sithole’s career took a dramatic nosedive when the Urban Warriors offloaded the fading striker seven months later.
Sithole retraced his roots back home and joined Highlanders in September 2014.
Bosso dumped Sithole in June last year before the striker found a new home at newly promoted Bulawayo City.
The hard running former FC Platinum forward failed to secure a foreign move soon after the finals but finally made it at Tanzania’s Young Africans in August 2015.
His post Chan career was blighted by a stalking knee injury that kept him on the sidelines at Dynamos for a number of games during the 2014 Castle Lager Premier League.
He opted to return to his boyhood club Caps United during the 2015 midseason transfer window but the transaction failed to beat the deadline.
Nhivi is now expected to line up for
Makepekepe this season.
The 2013 Soccer Star of the Year, Muparati, is now at How Mine, while Mbara is the current DeMbare skipper.
Mazivisa was last week offloaded at FC Platinum.
Diya has been the second choice to Young Warriors keeper Donovan Bernard at How Mine while Chindungwe moved from Chicken Inn to join Bosso after the tournament.
The dreadlocked Sibanda also joined Highlanders soon after the 2014 Chan finals before the nomadic forward dumped Bosso for neighbours How Mine in January 2015.
Manhanga beat the 2014 mid-season transfer deadline to join Highlanders but the pint sized midfielder has however since returned to Triangle.
Ndlovu is now Harare City’s defensive pillar while veteran keeper Dube is also now at The Sunshine Boys.
Machapa had stints at both DeMbare and Caps United before he left for AS Vita of DRC in August last season.