WARRIORS coach Kalisto Pasuwa has named a strong 26 men squad that will face Malawi in a 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier in Harare on June 5 with in-form Orlando Pirates striker Tendai Ndoro and unheralded Poland based midfielder Andrew Gwaze being the major additions to the team that played in the last match against Swaziland.
By Tafadzwa Ndiraire
Triangle goalkeeper Tapiwa Chilenga is one of the new faces called up for the Malawi clash.
Pasuwa said he has been monitoring Gwaze who plays for Gornik Zabrez in Poland.
“He has played for Monomotapa before and I have been monitoring him. I have some video of the matches he has played. We have an open door policy and there is no one who is guaranteed a place in the team,” said Pasuwa.
Ndoro has been in top form for Orlando Pirates where he has scored five league goals in 10 starts.
But there were no places for goalkeeper Washington Arubi and defender Partson Jaure with Warriors team manager Shariff Mussa saying their club- Pretoria Unversity had requested for them to be excused as they were involved in the play offs. Chippa United defender Eric Chipeta who struggled in the 1-1 draw against Swaziland in Mbambane was also dropped.
The Warriors are expected to play against Uganda in a friendly match on Tuesday which they will use as a dress rehearsal for the match against Malawi.
Pasuwa said Uganda were ranked above Zimbabwe and they would give his charges a good practice match ahead of the clash against Malawi. “Uganda are a very strong team, they are ranked above us and they will give us a good practice match,” said Pasuwa.
The Warriors are set to go into camp on Sunday ahead of the Tuesday friendly.
Zimbabwe lead Group L with eight points and can qualify for the biennial soccer show case for the first time if they beat Malawi at home and Guinea fails to beat Swaziland.
Both Swaziland and Guinea are tied on five points each with Malawi at the foot of the table with two points. Pasuwa warned against complacency by his charges.
He said Zimbabwe had endured the disappointment of being the Nearly Men of African football as they have often failed at the last hurdle. The Warriors gaffer said they have learnt their lessons and he would knock sense into the players to guard against complacency against Malawi.
2017 Afcon qualifier squad:
Goalkeepers: Tatenda Mukuruva, Bernard Donovan, Tapiwa Chilenga
Defenders: Costa Nhamoinesu, Lawrence Mhlanga, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Bruce Kangwa, Onismo Bhasera, Elisha Muroiwa, Teenage Hadebe, Blessing Moyo
Midfielders: Willard Katsande, Marvellous Nakamba, Danny Phiri, Kuda Mahachi, Marshall Mudehwe, Farai Madhanhanga, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Andre Gwaze
Strikers: Knowledge Musona, Nyasha Mushekwi, Evans Rusike, Mathew Rusike, Khama Billiat, Cuthbert Malajila, Tendai Ndoro.