19 July 2013

Zimbabwe: Warriors Pursue Glory As Cosafa Climaxes

THE Warriors go in search of a fifth Cosafa title tomorrow afternoon when they clash with Zambia in the final of the 2013 edition of the tournament at the magnificent Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.Having conquered the region in 2009 on home soil after beating Zambia 3-1 in the final, the Warriors will seek to rewrite the history books before an expected full house.

While coach Klaus Dieter Pagels admitted after the 2-1 win over Lesotho in the semi-finals that his charges had played badly, he will seek improvement facing a tough and hard running Zambian team inspired by a partisan home crowd.

The technical team would be praying for the full recovery of Hardlife Zvirekwi, after Prosper Matizanadzo struggled in central defence deputising the injured Caps United midfielder in the semifinal.

If Zvirekwi can be restored to the right, that would free Eric Chipeta to return to the heart of defence.

With Silas Songani also struggling with his game it is curious Ali Sadiki has not been summoned so far.

Ronald Chitiyo was in top form against Malawi winning the man- of-the-match award and worked his heart out until he was taken out for Nicholas Alifandika against Lesotho.

After the semifinal performance and looking ahead to the final Pagels is well aware of his homework.

"We need to look at some technical issues in the final," Pagels said.

He has complained of the limitations regarding player selection where he could not select more than two players from a single club, but he will have to make do with what he has at his disposal here.

"The other problem is that I did not bring my best players here as I was limited to only two players from each team by the PSL. We are in the final and we will go on and fight."

Tendai Ndoro will again be the man to watch for Zimbabwe after he opened his Cosafa account with a double against Lesotho. Goalkeeper Max Nyamupanendengu was a ball of nerves against Lesotho, but is likely to get the nod ahead of both Tafadzwa Dube and Munyaradzi Diya.

The Warriors and their technical team have endured criticism in the last few months and tomorrow they have a chance to cover themselves in glory by lifting the cup.

Warriors probable team

Max Nyamupanendengu, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Ocean Mushure, Felix Chindungwe, Devon Chafa, Masimba Mambare (captain), Ronald Chitiyo, Nicholas Alifandika, Charles Sibanda, Tendai Ndoro.

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