HARARE – The Zimbabwe senior men’s national football team, The Warriors, face a taxing five days next week when they host Botswana at the National Sports Stadium before travelling to Zambia as the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers get underway.
The Warriors host Botswana on Friday night, followed by another tie at
the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka against 2012 African champions Zambia
four days later, both games kicking off at 1800hrs.
The Warriors went into on Monday.
Warriors interim Joey Antipas had initially named a 32-man enlarged
squad-some based in the United Kingdom but with no Zimbabwean
passports, for the matches and recalled former skipper Knowledge
Musona to the fold.
To cut down on expenses, the squad was trimmed to 23 on Monday,
following an injury to Tino Kadewere who is based in France.
Musona had been jettisoned follow a poor performance in the 2019 Afcon
finals in Egypt and disciplinary issues, but has since found favour
again with the national association as Zifa seeks to ensure the
Warriors qualification to the biggest tournament on the continent.
The other team in the group is current African champions Algeria, whom
the Warriors will face next year.
Antipas reckons the two matches will set the pace for the rest of the campaign.
“The two matches will set the tone, we lose, we will be limping for
the rest of the campaign, so we need positive results from the start.
“We will not underrate Botswana at any cost, we will play a positive
match with the aim of getting maximum points. Then we will see how we
play away to Zambia four days later,” the veteran two-time PSL title
winning coach says.
The rest of the names in the team are not new save for the goalkeeping
department where veterans George Chigova and Edmore Sibanda have been
Meanwhile, Botswana coach, Adel Amrouche has excluded four players
from his latest squad for disciplinary reasons, after they were caught
drinking alcohol in October.
Amrouche has named a 25-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations
qualifiers against Zimbabwe on 15 November and Algeria three days
The quartet Mothusi Johnson, Mothusi Cooper, Onkabetse Makgantai and
South Africa- based Thero Seetsile were all found drinking after
Botswana’s 1-0 loss in a World Cup eliminator in October.
Amrouche said the players would not be considered until appropriate
action is taken.
While the Botswana Football Association (BFA) has not disciplined the
players as yet its general manager, Monnakgotla Mojaki said the
governing body has drawn up a code of conduct for the players.
“We will be discussing the code of conduct with the players, through
their union, so that they are governed by rules and regulations,” he
“And then they will know right from wrong, and this will also
determine what action can be taken.”
The squad includes six overseas-based players including two from
Europe; Mpho Kgaswane who is at Azerbaijani side Zirah FC and winger
Kabelo Seakanyeng, from Malta’s Lijah Atlhetic.
The other four all ply their trade in South Africa; goalkeeper,
Ezekiel Morake and Mosha Gaolaolwe are both with second-tier TS Galaxy
while Mogakolodi Ngele of Black Leopards and Highlands Park’s Lesenye
Ramorake play in the top-flight.
Warriors provisional squad
Goalkeepers: Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka), Talbert Shumba (Chapungu)
Simbarashe Chinani (Dynamos)
Defenders: Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Cliff Moyo (Kidderminister
Harriers), Divine Lunga (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Ronald Pfumbidzai
(Bloemfontein Celtic), Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor), Alec Mudimu
(CEFN Druids), Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Kelvin Moyo (Chippa
Midfielders: Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims), Thabani Kamusoko
(Zesco United), Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu), Marvelous Nakamba (Aston
Villa), Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport
United), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Phenias Bamusi (Caps United)
Strikers: Admiral Muskwe (Leicester City), Terrence Dzvukamanja
(Bidvest Wits), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Knowledge Musona (RSC
Anderlecht), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre AC), Knox Mutizwa
(Lamontville Golden Arrows), Macauley Bonne (Charlton Athletic), Evans
Rusike (SuperSport United)
Botswana squad to face Zimbabwe and Algeria:
Goalkeepers: Ezekiel Morake (TS Galaxy, South Africa), Kabelo Dambe
(Township Rollers), Lesenya Malapela (Orapa United)
Defenders: Mmoloki Kebalepile (Extension Gunners0, Gape Gaogangwe
(Orapa United), Tshepo Maikano (Gaborone United), Onkarabile Ratanang,
Simisane Mathumo, Thatayaone Ditlokwe (all Township Rollers), Lesenya
Ramora (Highlands Park, South Africa), Kaelo Kgaswane (Security
Midfielders: Mosha Gaolaolwe (TS Galaxy, South Africa), Molebatsi
Tlhalefo, Ofentse Nato, Maano Ditshupo (all Township Rollers), Keagile
Kobe (BDF XI), Thatayaone Ramatlapeng (Security Systems), Mogakolodi
Ngele (Black Leopards, South Africa), Kabelo Seakanyeng (Lija
Athletic, Malta), Mpho Kgaswane (Zira FC, Azerbaijan)
Strikers: Tumisang Orebonye, Lemponye Tshireletso (all Township
Rollers), Kenanao Kgetholetsile (Security Systems), Mishani Thupa
(Extension Gunners), Thayaone Kgamanyane (Gaborone United)