SWAZILAND are expected in Zimbabwe next Wednesday to face the wrath of the Warriors, eager to avenge last year’s humiliating 2-0 defeat at the National Sports Stadium.
Zimbabwe face Swaziland at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on August 31 for a berth in this year’s Cosafa Castle Cup soccer final.
Zimbabwe will however be without the South Africa-based duo of striker Adam Ndlovu and defender Charles Yohane through club commitments.
Warriors’ manager Rafiq Adam said the rest of the players called for camp had confirmed their availability and will be expected to assemble in Bulawayo on Monday.
“Only Adam Ndlovu and Charles Yohane will not be available. They are both engaged in semi-finals of a tournament in South Africa for their respective clubs,” said Adam.
Yohane turns out for Wits University while Ndlovu plays for Dynamos. The teams are in the semi-finals of the South African Airways tournament.
Warriors mentor, Sunday Marimo has blended youth with experience in the 22-man squad that will prepare for the Swaziland tie.
Young Warriors midfielders Honour Gombami and Eddie Mashiri and striker Shingirai Kawondera have been included in the squad that also features veretan players, captain Peter Ndlovu and Kaitano Tembo.
While the absence of Adam might not worry Marimo much as he has several strikers at his disposal, it is the unavailability of Yohane on the left flank that might see him call another player for that position.
Although the Warriors will be tipped to win, it will be easy to remember how the Sihlangu booted the host out of the quarter-finals of the same competition last year.
But with the nation riding on the crest of a wave following its maiden qualification for the African Nations Cup finals, Swaziland will be well aware of the morale in their opponents’ camp.
Zimbabwe’s 1-0 victory away to South Africa in the quarter-finals last month bears testimony to the combative gear already engaged by the Warriors ahead of the continental competition.
The winner between the Warriors and Sihlangu will face Malawi in the two-legged final.
Meanwhile, chaos surrounding Zimbabwe’s hosting of the Cosafa women’s soccer tournament continued this week with the organising committee and members of the Zifa board expressing their doubt over Sports minister, Aeneas Chigwedere’s sincerity.
Sources who attended a meeting held in the capital on Tuesday revealed that it was agreed that Chigwedere should produce the money he promised to avail for the event and hand it over to the Sports and Recreation Commission.
The local women soccer fraternity hopes to host the event next month and they need to raise $300 million.
A Cosafa fund-raising committee led by businesswoman Jane Mutasa allegedly misled the Zimbabwe Football Association into believing that enough funds had been raised for the tournament, origionally scheduled for earlier this month. However it emerged that only $23 million had been raised.