Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
WARRIORS goalkeeper George Chigova is set to undergo a scan to ascertain the extent of the knee injury he suffered during Tuesday’s African Cup of Nations qualifier against the Democratic Republic of Congo at the National Sports Stadium.
The 27-year-old Polokwane City man limped out in great pain after playing only 30 minutes of the top-of-the-table clash which ended 1-1.
Chigova had shown signs of discomfort earlier in the game when he went down twice and was attended to by the Warriors’ medical team.
But the knock had taken a toll on him and coach Sunday Chidzambwa had to replace Chigova with another experienced goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, who also had a good game between the sticks.
“I twisted my knee. I tried to play on, but then I couldn’t continue. So I called to be substituted. I will have to have a scan and see if there are no damaged ligaments.
“Hopefully it’s not serious,” said Chigova.
Team manager Wellington Mpandare yesterday said they have since been in contact with the doctors in South Africa for the MRI scan.
Chigova, who has since reclaimed the Warriors number one jersey, has been in good form for both club and country of late.
The giant goalkeeper believes the Warriors have made huge strides in Group G where they lead the table with eight points from four starts.
The former Dynamos goalkeeper played a critical role in the reverse fixture in Kinshasa where the Warriors upstaged the fancied Leopards 2-1 before a packed Stade de Martyrs on Saturday night.
As the Warriors sought to seal their qualification they suffered their second blow of the night with their No. 1 lasting only half an hour.
The host had during warm-up also lost Danny Phiri due to injury.
On paper, DRC, who are ranked third in Africa were expected to steamroll past the Warriors in the back-to-back clashes.
But the Warriors who are 27 places down the ladder on the continental rankings and 117th in the world defied that disparity and secured four points against the fancied Central Africans.
The results should also help Sunday Chidzambwa’s men climb up the next FIFA rankings when the October statistics are factored in next Thursday.
Chigova acknowledged that the Warriors had been the underdogs in their matches against the Congolese
“No one gave us a chance against DRC. We were playing a team that is third on African rankings, but as players we believed in ourselves to do the job and I am sure we did our best to make the country proud.
“However, we have to continue working hard. This is just the foundation that we laid. I believe everything is going well for us and we want to continue like that and wrap it up next month when we play Liberia.
“We are closer to qualification and it’s important to take each game as it comes,” said Chigova.
The giant goalkeeper also hailed the ZIFA leadership for their efforts to keep the team as a unit by taking every opportunity to arrange games.
The majority in this group featured at the 2018 COSAFA Cup tournaments and also played several friendlies that include the four-team tournament hosted by Zambia earlier this year.
The games were used by Chidzambwa to take stock of the players after he was given the job on a full-time basis late last year with a mandate to guide the Warriors to the 2019 Nations Cup.
“Yeah it helped us to gel as a team and to understand each other. We need to meet and play together quite often,” said Chigova.