‘We have the spine, stability’

07 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
‘We have the spine, stability’ Lazarus Muhoni

The ManicaPost

Moffat Mungazi
Sports Reporter

 

MUTARE-BORN former Warriors midfielder, Lazarus “Mali” Muhoni believes the presence of at least one experienced player in three of the squad’s four departments is crucial in giving the side spine and the much-needed stability.

Some commentators have suggested that the team appears depleted and bereft of strength owing to the absences of key players such as Marvellous Nakamba, Marshal Munetsi and Khama Billiat, among others.

Warriors’ caretaker coach, Norman Mapeza named familiar and new faces to do duty for the country.

Only six players – skipper, Knowledge Musona, defenders, Alec Mudimu and Teenage Hadebe, midfielder, Thabani Kamusoko and forwards, Tino Kadewere and Kuda Mahachi – have previously been to the finals.

Goalkeepers, Martin Mapisa, Petros Mhari and Talbert Shumba are cutting their professional teeth at the tournament.

However, Muhoni, the scorer of the solitary goal against Mali at home that set the Warriors on the path to their first AFCON qualification in 2004 – expressed optimism in the composition of the team.

“It is unfortunate that we could not get in all the players we had wanted for the finals, but that should not deter us. This team can still do the job. What is important is that at least we have a seasoned player in defence, midfield and attack.

“Experience counts at such tournaments. So if we can get these departments operating efficiently, then we should be okay in goals. If they play, I am sure the likes of Bhasera, Mudimu and Kamusoko can command their areas well and put us in good moments during the games,” he said.

With the new players eager to learn, added Muhoni, they can quickly adapt to the demands of the game at that level.

“Football is about application by the players, how they react or respond to situations and taking their chances when they come across. We do not have to be intimidated by our opponents’ profile because we can actually match them. Geared for battle, we should fancy our chances. This calls for determination and the right attitude on our part to grind out the desired results,” said Muhoni from his base in South Africa.

The Warriors will be looking up to talisman captain Musona to drive their quest for glory.

He is expected to lead the forward line alongside Kadewere, who plays for French elite league side, Olympique Lyon.

The Aces Youth Academy product, Musona comes into the tournament on the back of scintillating performances for his Saudi Arabia club, Al-Tai, which has seen him strike thrice and lay two assists in the last three games.

Warriors supporters are keeping their fingers crossed that the ex-Kaizer Chiefs gunslinger carries his imperious form and shooting boots to Cameroon to provide the cutting edge in attack and propel the team to victory.

“Musona staying sharp is key because we need the goals or the chances he can create for others. It is goals that win matches and if we can score, then the games are there for the taking,” said Muhoni.

 

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