Paul Mundandi Sports Reporter
WARRIORS interim coach Norman Mapeza says the thrust to improve the country’s rankings on the FIFA table should be the driving force behind his men’s search for victory in the international friendly against Zambia tomorrow.
The Battle of Zambezi explodes at the National Sports Stadium at 3pm tomorrow. The Zambians, whose Under-20 team won the African title recently, have not beaten the Warriors in their last three internationals.
Orlando Pirates striker Tendai Ndoro, who was expected to spearhead the attack as one of two foreign-based players, is injured and out of the match.
Evans Rusike, who is also based in South Africa, had not made the trip by yesterday.
“A positive result is very important to us because we must improve on our FIFA rankings. I am hoping that Evans will turn up despite the fact that I have not received any information as of today (yesterday),” said Mapeza
The FC Platinum coach was very active in yesterday’s training session at Gateway School as he also participated in the training drills, showing his charges how it should be done. Mapeza said keeping possession was a virtue and passing the ball on the ground was important.
Team manager Wellington Mpandare told The Herald they had called Black Rhinos defender Bruce Homora as a replacement for the injured Teenage Hadebe.
“We are aware the players are coming from off-season and whoever is picked to play must impress the coaches to get a place in the AFCON qualifiers, which are due to start in June.
“We also have the CHAN games and everyone must play their hearts out.
“We are also pleased to have a top-coach in Mapeza and I have seen that every player wants to play for him. The morale is very high and players are happy to be with him. We travel in the same bus, eat together and pray together.
“He is young and gets involved all the time even at training. I continue to pray and hope that ZIFA will engage him on full-time basis as I feel that he is the only coach who can take us to the Promised Land,” said Mpandare.
ZIFA yesterday wired the players’ appearance fees and daily allowances.
Supporters will pay $2 for the cheapest ticket, $5 for a seat in bays 15-18 and $10 for a VIP ticket.
Goalkeepers: Edmore Sibanda, Petros Mhari, Ariel Sibanda
Defenders: Partson Jaure, Godknows Murwira, Peter Muduwa, Qadir Amin, Bruce Homora, Dennis Dauda, Ocean Mushure
Midfielders: Winston Mhango, Ronald Chitiyo, Devon Chafa, Liberty Chakoroma, Raphael Manuvire, Rodwell Chinyengetere, Sipho Ndlovu
Strikers: Donald Teguru, Prince Dube, Masimba Mambare, Terrence Dzukamanja, Evans Rusike