Zimbabwe Sends Second String Side For Zebras Friendly

The Warriors left Thursday morning without star striker Knowledge Musona as well as Nyasha Mushekwi and Edward Sadomba, the three strikers who have been at the centre of searching for goals for the Warriors in international football.

Also missing is Ovidy Karuru, Thomas Svesve, Tinashe Nengomasha, Lincoln Zvasiya, Willard Katsande and Tafadzwa Rusike who all have not been released by their clubs.

Even regular first choice goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini will not be going to Botswana giving chance to 2011 Castle Soccer Star of the Year, Washington Arubi to guard goal for the Warriors.

Zifa marketing manager Nicholette Dhlamini said the players have not been released by their clubs as the match is not on the Fifa calendar adding that Mapeza has now taken to Gaborone most of the locally based players who did duty in the Cecafa tournament.

Dhlamini said the clubs are not obliged to release their players in such matches bringing into question whether Zifa had made any communication with the respective foreign clubs before drafting the players into the national team.

For Botswana, this is a big blow as they are using this game to fine tune their squad for the African Cup of Nations finals for which they became the first country to qualify while for Zimbabwe this is just another friendly as the players Mapeza has taken do not feature for the Warriors in major international matches.

The players who are not going to Botswana are the ones that will play for Zimbabwe when the Warriors resume their 2013 African Cup of Nations campaign against Burundi next month.

Observers and soccer fans are all questioning Zifa’s logic of their involvement in this match as it is of no benefit to the Warriors and to Zimbabwean football in general as Zimbabwean football will be the losers should this second string side be spanked by the fast improving Zebras.

Acting team manager Wellington Mpandare confirmed they left Harare early Thursday morning and are expecting to arrive in Gaborone in time for the match but without involving themselves in any training session.

The defence though remains Zimbabwe’s strongest department with the likes of Tapuwa Khumbuyani, Guthrie Zhokini, Daniel Vheremu, and Quad Amini likely to have first starts.

Untried striker Roderick Mutuma the country’s top goal scorer with 14 goals in 2011 has been called and is likely to partner Dynamos team mate Cuthbert Malajila in a striker force that is unlikely to pose any threat to Botswana while the midfield of Charles Sibanda Denver Mukamba and Milton Makopa is also untried.