Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Musona already in the camp .

THE Warriors' preparations for Saturday's clash with Angola in the second leg of the final qualifier for the 2013 Afcon finals got to a good start yesterday with a majority of the players in camp.

Coach Rahman Gumbo was impressed with the turnout. He said that showed that all the players were raring to go and eager to make history for themselves and qualify for the finals.

Zimbabwe carry a 3-1 lead into the weekend and look among the 15 favourites for slots to join South Africa at next year's finals.

The country has been boosted by the inclusion of a number of players previously sidelined by their involvement in the Asiagate scandal. Representative sides that toured Asia and Europe between 2007 and 2010 were  reportedly paid to lose by betting syndicates.

In an interview last night Gumbo said he was impressed with what he had seen in camp.

"It's impressive to see such a big turnout. This shows everyone wants to play, they want to be part of the team," said Gumbo.

Yesterday the team loosened up and will start serious work this morning.

The former Warriors star said as of last night Carrington Nyadombo of AmaZulu and Esrom Nyandoro of Mamelodi Sundowns were still to join camp and he was not sure whether Noel Kaseke of Alki in Cyprus had arrived in the evening or not.

Tinashe Nengomasha and Knowledge Musona, who both missed the first leg, are already in camp. This has boosted the coach in terms of selection options.

In camp yesterday were Lincoln Zvasiya, Cuthbert Malajila, Edward Sadomba, Ephraim Mazarura and Kingstone Nkhata who were cleared by the Independent Ethics Committee.

Zvasiya will bring a lot of competition in central defence where Nyandoro was converted with Nyadombo during previous encounters.

The biggest beneficiary could be the strikeforce where the return of Malajila, a natural goalpoacher, could tilt the team's fortunes in Gumbo's favour in an environment set to be very hostile in Angola. He is a brilliant finisher with a high work rate. Nkhata and Musona could be on the bench with exciting Khama Billiat and speed merchant Sadomba, who has done well at Al Hilal in both domestic and CAF club competitions, occupying the flanks. Both are good scorers and are creative players who should benefit from good service from midfield where Vusa Nyoni, Nengomasha and Oscar Machapa could have roles.

Zimbabwe just need to hold their nerves in a very hot and humid environment and the motivation for the returnees is trying to prove that the allegations of match-fixing were indeed false.

Any result could see Zifa take the flak for releasing the last batch of innocent players late into this final match campaign.

Lack of psychological services under the circumstances could be exposed if some of the players do not rise to the occasion.

The onus is  however on the boys to rise to the ocassion and atone for the poor performances in the previous three campaigns.

Zimbabwe were at the 2004 and 2006 finals.

Match-fixing has been blamed for the 2008 and 2010 disastrous campaigns.

Gumbo said he would name his final 18 on Thursday.
By sbue
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