OUT-OF-FAVOUR Black Rhinos goalkeeper Herbert Rusawo has been handed a huge opportunity to prove his worthy as he is set to guard the posts for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Select in the military men’s ZDF Trophy battle against their Malawian counterparts at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
The match will wind off the day for the 38th edition of the ZDF Day’s main commemorations at the giant facility.
The former Warriors man, who illuminated the local scene last season when he kept 13 clean sheets in 31 league appearances for the army side has been relegated to the bench by mentor Herbert Maruwa who prefers Ashley Reyners.
Rusawo has never reclaimed his place between the sticks since losing it to the ex-Dynamos goalie in the fifth week of the league marathon which is now in week 21.
But, the 29-year-old will be eager to showcase his exploits at a bigger stage this afternoon.
ZDF Select coach Gift “Guava” Kamuriwo has picked nine players from the combatants’ two Premiership sides, Chapungu, who are the Air Force of Zimbabwe’s flagship side as well as the Zimbabwe National Army’s pride, Black Rhinos.
Kamuriwo hinted yesterday that Rusawo could be thrust into the thick of things ahead of Chapungu’s Talbert Shumba, who played in his team’s 1-1 draw against Bulawayo Chiefs at Ascot just 48 hours ago.
The former Black Rhinos and Warriors midfielder, who is currently the former’s manager, is bullish his team will triumph in tomorrow’s encounter.
He said he picked the best players from both teams who have the character to outwit their opponents.
The Malawians were expected to arrive in Harare last night.
“We have to win this match at all costs though we have no idea whatsoever how our opponents play,” said Kamuriwo.
“This is a special day for us as the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and we cannot afford to spoil the party by losing this match.
“With the full-to-the-brim stadium rooting for us, I think the atmosphere will be just fantastic and the players will be motivated to want to do well in front of their families and fans.
“We cannot dispappoint on an occasion like this. I respect Malawian football and we are not going to go about it lackadaisically.
“We have to work extra hard because I bet we won’t have it on a silver platter. They are coming here with exactly the same motive as ours. Every team plays football not to lose so we have to be at our best.
“We will try to fuse the players in a way that combinations will not be hard to come out perfectly. But at the end of the day, we should win this match.
“We want to win the ZDF Trophy as we have done in the past,”
ZDF Select team won the trophy last year after they got the better of Highlanders 3-0 in a match played at the same venue.
ZDF Select Team
Blessed Mbavarira, Collen Kwaramba, Brighton Mugoni, Maxwell Mavhuto, Moenda Muchingami, Emmanuel Chitauro, Allan Tavarwisa, Ian Nyoni, Philip Marufu, Talbert Shumba (all Chapungu), Herbert Rusawo, Farai Banda, Bruce Homora, Wonder Kapinda, Nesbert Padzarondora, Lot Chiunga, Kelvin Chiripawako, Vincent Mhandu, Shadreck Jimu (all Black Rhinos)