THE Young Warriors are not reading much into last year’s drubbing at the hands of Malawi when they meet again this morning in the Cosafa Championship group match in Mauritius. Already, the Zimbabwe Under-17 soccer team have lost the opening group match 2-3 against Swaziland on Friday, making today’s encounter a must-win for them if they are entertaining any hopes of proceeding to the next round.
And last year’s 5-0 defeat by Malawi at the same stage of the regional tournament is still fresh in the Young Warriors’ minds.
But yesterday coach Tafadzwa Mashiri said they are geared for the fresh battle and have put that disappointing result behind.
“We lost heavily against the same opponents last year, but we look forward to overturn that record.
“We should avoid the mistakes we made against Swaziland (on Friday) and try to have a strong start to the match and that should give us the much-needed confidence,” said Mashiri.
Mashiri said today’s encounter against Malawi is crucial with the team still confident of progressing to the next round.
“The Malawi game is very crucial. We need an outright win for us to keep our chances of remaining in the tournament alive.
“Our approach to the game is to settle (down) first and control the proceedings,” he said.
On Friday against Swaziland, the Young Warriors conceded two-quick goals in the first half, but to their credit they managed to claw back into game with two early second half goals which were scored by Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya and John Bonomali within a space of five minutes.
Agonisingly, the Young Warriors failed to clear their lines four minutes before full-time to let the Swazis score the winner in an exciting match.
Mashiri has rung some changes to the team which started in the first match and is likely to start with some of the players who came in as substitutes.
Young Warriors’ Probable line-up
Malcolm Mapondera (captain), Cossam Bandason, Simbarahse Dhauka, Marlvern Soko, Marlvern Hativagoni, Wesley Chitsumba, Lincoln Mudzingaidzo, Simbarashe Madzivire, John Bonomali, Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya, Tapiwa Mandinyenya.