THE Zimbabwe national soccer team regrouped in Harare on Monday to prepare for the African Nations Championships second round second-leg qualifying match against South Africa at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
The Warriors carry a 1-nil advantage from the first leg. A Clement Matawu strike saw off the third-string Bafana Bafana in Pretoria two weeks ago.
The Africa Nations Championships, which is in its formative year, is a tournament for locally-based players only, aimed at boosting domestic football on the continent which has been weakened by an exodus of leading players mainly to European leagues.
The tournament will run every two years, just as the African Nations Cup, the continentâ€™s flagship football event.
Retaining Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa has blooded the team with new players.
The most notable of the new call-ups is Archieford Gutu, the Zimbabwe Under 17 and Under 20 star player.
â€œI was very happy to be called on to camp in the national team this week,â€ Gutu said.
â€œIt gives me more exposure. I will also learn a lot of stuff from the older guys who have been around for a while. I am still young at 17. I still have many years of football ahead of me and I am hopeful that this call-up is the beginning of a fruitful international career for me.â€ Â
BY KUDZAYI TIGERE