After last week’s disappointments over the shelving of the much-anticipated Warriors-Chipolopolo clash and the no-show by appointed match officials, all is now set for the African Nations Championships first leg final qualifier at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
It was a relief when the referees, from Cameroon, finally arrived and are camped in Harare since Tuesday.
Though Zimbabwe’s preparations for the game have been going on smoothly last week, coach Ian Gorowa is sweating over the fitness of his players after a round of Castle Lager Premier League action on Wednesday and yesterday.
After efforts to force the postponement of the matches failed, Gorowa is hoping his preferred players come out unscathed.
While the local players were engaged in league action, their Zambian counterparts were in camp and played a friendly match against Senegal.
It wasn’t an ideal preparation for Zimbabwe who re-group this morning, but Gorowa hopes he can still get the best out of his players.
Gorowa’s target is Afcon 2015 and he has placed so much importance on the Chan tournament so that he can start building for the bigger tournament.
Zimbabwe will be searching for a healthy lead to take to Zambia next week for the reverse tie. Gorowa said he will be aiming for a win in this game by whatever margin.
Most of the players he had selected for his final 18 last week were in action during the mid-week. Strikers Nelson Mazivisa of FC Platinum and Caps’ Dominic Chungwa were involved in a four-goal thriller which ended in a tie at Mandava Stadium between the two teams, but none of the two were on target.
Charles Sibanda of the platinum miners who had been left out of the final squad was in imperious form in the match and scored from a penalty.
Whether his performance would force a rethink on the part of Gorowa will only be clear later today or tomorrow.
The Warriors have been struggling for goals of late and this is an opportunity for the strikers to put to rest concerns about their ability on the international scene.