Warriors close to Chan qualification

The Chronicle

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter

THE Warriors are 90 minutes away from making their fourth appearance at the African Nations Championships (Chan) finals and just need to avoid defeat against Lesotho at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru tomorrow.

The Warriors, who arrived in Maseru by road at midnight on Thursday from Johannesburg, carry a seemingly healthy 3-1 first-leg lead and any result other than a defeat by two goals or more will secure them qualification for the finals in Cameroon next year.

Yesterday the boys loosened up in a 30-minute walk in the morning before coach Joey Antipas and his technical staff held a training session in the afternoon.

Likuena coach Thabo Senong told the media that they were fully aware of the Warriors’ strengths and weaknesses and used last Sunday’s friendly match against Malawi as a dress rehearsal for tomorrow’s match.

“We have already seen Zimbabwe’s strengths and weaknesses, so we are going to use the Sunday friendly as a rehearsal of how we want to play against Zimbabwe. This means we won’t make many changes as that might disrupt the rhythm,” Senong told the Lesotho Times.

Since the inception of the tournament in 2009, Zimbabwe has missed out only once when they were held in Morocco last year.

Their best finish was fourth in 2014 when South Africa played host to the tournament solely reserved for players plying their trade in their countries’ domestic leagues.

In the other three Chan finals that the Warriors have qualified for, they have failed to make it beyond the group stages of the tournament.

 Warriors’ squad 

Goalkeepers: Simbarashe Chinani (Dynamos), Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders)

Defenders: Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Frank Makarati (Ngezi Platinum) Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), MacClive Phiri (Highlanders), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken inn)

Midfielders: Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum) Tichaona Chipunza (Chicken Inn) Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders) Ralph Kawondera (Triangle) Joel Ngodzo (Caps United) Valentine Kadonzvo (Chicken Inn) Phenias Bamusi (Caps United)

Strikers: Prince Dube (Highlanders) Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn) Wellington Taderera (Black Rhinos)