Ray Bande Senior Reporter
WARRIORS are in the 2020 African Nations Championship last qualifying round up against Lesotho and Manica Diamonds’ defender Partson Jaure, who is part of the squad, believes the tournament presents the team with a chance to redeem lost pride.
Home-based players host Lesotho in the last qualifying round, first leg, at the National Sports Stadium this Sunday. The reverse tie will be in Maseru next month. The 2020 African Nations Championship finals are set for Cameroon in January.
The Warriors come into this CHAN assignment hard on the heels of a forgettable performance against minnows Somalia in 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifying encounters.
“Our game against Lesotho is going to be a tough match because they have been together for long and they play in their local clubs. If there is any tournament they use the same players. And for us, we must go all the way and we must score and defend to make our job easy when we go there next month. I also hope this is a chance to redeem our lost pride not only by qualifying but making our impact felt at the finals in Cameroon,” he said.
The Warriors began their journey in the second round where they made light weight of Indian Ocean islanders Mauritius by winning 7-1 on aggregate. National team caretaker coach Joey Antipas has already noted that they are not leaving anything to chance in their quest to book a place at 2020 African Nations Championship finals. Antipas said the team will get down to serious business after he announced a 26-member provisional squad last Friday.
“It is a very competitive tournament to play in and it will be good for the local Warriors to make the final. As you know, given the exposure involved, it’s a big stage for our players to participate in and market themselves.
“We will train this week and come up with a team to face Lesotho. I believe the players that we picked are competitive enough and we just have to get the right mix at training. I hope we will come up with a good team. We have to be on top of this game and get to the CHAN finals,’’ he said.
The tournament has become a good marketing platform for local players. Jaure, George Chigova and Milton Ncube secured contracts in the South African Premiership after the 2014 edition in South Africa.
Zimbabwe reached the semi-finals of that tourney, which remains their best performance in the tournament, to date.
Goalkeepers: Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Maxwell Nyamupangedengu (Harare City), Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), Simbarashe Chinani (Dynamos).
Defenders: Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), MacClive Phiri (Highlanders), Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Nomore Chinyerere (Hwange), Lawrence Mhlanga (FC Platinum),
Midfielders: Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders), Juan Mutudza (Herentals), Joel Ngodzo (Caps United), Ralph Kawondera, (Triangle United), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah Stars), Valentine Kadonzvo (Chicken Inn), Sipho Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Ian Nyoni (Chapungu),Tichaona Chipunza (Chicken Inn).
Strikers: Never Tigere (FC Platinum), Wellington Taderera (Black Rhinos), William Manondo (Harare City), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Evans Katema (Dynamos), Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn).