Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
WARRIORS’ captain Partson Jaure is confident that they will put up a good fight in the first round first leg encounter against Mauritius at the New George V Stadium in Curepipe, Mauritius tomorrow.
The match kicks off at 1430HRS Zimbabwean time.
The two nations clash in a African Nations Championship qualifier with the return leg set for Barbourfields Stadium next Sunday.
Speaking from the Indian Ocean island nation yesterday, the Manica Diamonds defender said they arrived to a rainy Mauritius which was also windy.
“We are all looking forward to the game. When we arrived here it was raining but it’s now a bit windy though and not very hot as in our previous visits here,” said Jaure.
The team held its first training session yesterday afternoon since arriving in Mauritius on Thursday via South Africa.
“We have conducted our session,” said coach Rahman Gumbo yesterday, who seemed confident ahead of the tie tomorrow. Gumbo was given the ropes after the resignation of veteran gaffer Sunday Chidzambwa early this week. They are expected to hold the last training session at the match venue today.
Zimbabwe and Mauritius have met nine times before this encounter with the Warriors winning seven of the matches while losing and drawing one match each. Their first and only loss was way back in August 1982 when they lost 0-2 in the Indian Ocean Games with the draw coming in August 2013 in a Chan 2014 qualifier that ended one apiece.
Victory for the Warriors in the two legged qualifiers will set them on a collision course with either Lesotho or South Africa in the final round of qualifiers for the finals that are set for Cameroon early next year.
Probable starting 11
Ariel Sibanda, Ian Nekati, Peter Muduhwa, Partson Jaure, Xolani Ndlovu, Nqobizitha Masuku, Leeroy Mavhunga, Phenias Bhamusi, Never Tigere, Clive Augusto, Prince Dube.
Goalkeepers: Talbert Shumba (Chapungu), Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders)
Defenders: Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars), Brian Chikwenya (Triangle)
Midfielders: Phenias Bhamusi (CAPS United), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders), Ralph Kawondera (Triangle), Never Tigere (FC Platinum), Malvin Gaki (Chicken Inn), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah Stars)
Strikers: Clive Augusto (Chicken Inn), Evans Katema (Dynamos), Prince Dube (Highlanders)