14 June 2012

Zimbabwe: Warriors Need Front-Line Spark

Photo: Confederation of African Football.
Warriors bounce back to defeat Burundi

THE Warriors will seek a front-line spark that has eluded them in the last two weeks as they switch attention to Afcon 2013 with a home clash against Burundi, after sabotaging their own chances of appearing at the Fifa World Cup in 2014 by firing blanks.

Prior to the Fifa 2014 World Cup qualifier against Guinea at the National Sports Stadium, concern was more about Rahman Gumbo's tools at the back, but after two games in as many weeks, the Warriors are now more worried about goals that have been missing in the last fortnight.

So frantic has been the situation that Gumbo has turned to Dynamos attacker Rodrick Mutuma, Caps United's Clive Kawinga and rookie Nelson Mazivisa from Shabanie.

Mutuma was not even in the bloated squad of 34 which went into camp before the two matches. After mixing and matching several front-line combinations with no success, Gumbo has now put faith in ginger-haired Mutuma who has polished the bench at his club with Takesure Chinyama.

Mutuma does not ooze the aura of a saviour, but who knows, he might just have the luck that Gumbo claims he has been missing.

A return of 14 goals last term for DeMbare, in a championship winning cause, is not a bad record and his ability to eliminate numbers can be useful.

If the lanky forward is to perform at optimum levels, he might just be the source of great joy, however unlikely that may be at this stage.

A strike force that has been denied the talents of Nyasha Mushekwi and Cuthbert Malajila due to a drawn-out match fixing probe is unlikely to give value for money.

It will take one goal, just one goal, to inject a massive dose of belief in the team and it is in fact all they need, coupled with a clean sheet, if they are to progress.

Knowledge Musona's lack of precision has betrayed his burst on the international scene and so has Chinyama's shocking dip in form after an electric return to the domestic scene.

But also importantly, Zimbabwe will have to stand guard to subdue Burundi in the event they try the unexpected and show ambition.

There is a real possibility of Zimbabwe being vetted at that stage where mediocre sides fall by the way side.

The Warriors will need to recover from the upheavals of the World Cup campaign and show they are a much better side than the calamitous campaign so far suggested.

Margins of error are very slim in this game and they will have to put Burundi under eternal siege and post a win that can earn them more shelflife in this tournament

The Warriors have been short on conversion but rich on creation.

There have been accusations after the last couple of results that the Warriors are just another mediocre side not worthy of a major tournament and this is the opportunity to dispel any such claims.

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