GIANT Mauritania stands in the way of the Warriors which are still swimming in the euphoria of success – albeit with limited ammunition and less chance of turning the tables
in a World Cup preliminary round qualifying match second leg today.
The hosts have the searing heat and home advantage to bank hopes on though. If the first leg 3-0 Warriors victory over Mauritania in Harare last month is anything to go by, then it will be a mountain to climb for the hosts today.
The visitors step into the scorching temperatures of Nouakchott with a full armour. Captain Peter Ndlovu, who has been the torch-bearer in the
Warriors’ march to a maiden African Nations Cup appearance, is available. So is German-based roving right wing back, George Mbwando, who is also in the match and expected to click in the midfield department of the 3-5-2 formation alongside attacking left back Charles Yohane.
The absence of intelligent midfielder Ronald Sibanda, through suspension by his club over disciplinary matters, re-moves creativity in the Warriors’ most proble-matic department. Com-bative midfielder Lazarus Muhoni however, makes a return to the squad after missing the last two matches.
The availability of the South African-based duo of Kaitano Tembo and Dumisani Mpofu steadies the rear-guard as they combine with the utility player Deziderio Kapenya to provide cover for goalkeeper Energy Murambadoro.
A few flashes of brilliance by the Mauritanians in the first leg, particularly by attacking linkman Tony Tavarez, must be enough to warn the Warriors against complacency.
Tavarez threatened havoc for the Warriors when he got room in the midfield. If good chances are created, the hosts could utilise the physical advantage of several of their players who are huge in frame to send the Warriors crashing out of the lucrative tournament.