Zim geared for tense SA showdown

YOUNG Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa says his charges have extra motivation to pull off a positive result against old enemy South Africa as the two nations’ age- group teams seek to progress to the next stage in their quest for Rio 2016.

Kevin Mapasure

Zimbabwe hosts South Africa at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday in what promises to be tough contest between the southern African rivals.

Pasuwa yesterday said some of the senior national team players in South Africa have been phoning him begging the former Dynamos mentor and his Young Warriors to silence the South Africans.

“This is no ordinary match, it’s a big challenge,” said Pasuwa.

“Even in my playing days we never wanted to lose to South Africa and you can see that in these boys. They are working hard and they are raring to go. Some of our players in South Africa have been phoning to say the South Africans are talking too much so we need to silence them. I know the South Africans are equally motivated for this match.”

The Under-23 side’s preparations have faces challenges with key players sidelined through either injury or club commitments. Pasuwa is lamenting the absence of Ronald Pfumbidzai who has shifted based to Denmark, while Teenage Hadebe who could fill in that void is in a race to be fit for Sunday’s blockbuster.

Centre-half Liberty Chakoroma has failed to join camp as he tries his luck at Premier Soccer League side Free State Stars.
It’s not all gloom in the camp however with Pasuwa raving about Kuda Mahachi’s fitness and hunger.

“Kuda is here, he is looking sharp; he has not been getting game time in South Africa and he is showing a lot of hunger. He has high levels of fitness and we are very pleased with him.”

The four-time championship winning coach also said the presence of Wisdom Mutasa and Walter Musona was also a major lift.

“I think they benefitted a lot from their trial stint, they look fitter than they were before so we are also glad to have them.”
The South Africans have assembled their best side and have been in camp a week longer than the Zimbabweans.

The last time the two nations played at this level in an All-Africa Games qualifying tie South Africa prevailed.