WARRIORS assistant coach Mkhuphali Masuku says his side will have nothing to fear when they head to battle against “favourites” Zambia in tomorrow’s decisive African Nations Championships (Chan) qualifier set for the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
The team was expected to leave Harare early this morning for Lusaka aboard a chartered plane due to the benevolence of Zifa president Cuthbert Dube.
The two teams played to a goalless draw at Rufaro Stadium last Sunday, a result that disappointed many Warriors fans, but Masuku believes his side is well poised to qualify for the finals set for South Africa next year.
Masuku said his side is capable of upsetting the more fancied opponents.
A win or a scoring draw will see the Warriors through while Zambia will need nothing, but an outright win to qualify.
“Zambia are playing in front of their home supporters and that obviously makes them favourites to go through, but there is always a chance for an upset,” Masuku told our Harare bureau yesterday.
“We were disappointed that we could not get a win at home, but the good thing is we played to a goalless draw which I think is a very positive result in these two legged ties.
“We have to build on that and try to do better in the next match. I think we are actually at an advantage because a scoring draw will favour us. Zambia is a good side but we have nothing to fear.
“I think we have prepared well for this match and we have been trying combinations that we will use in Zambia. The game will be very tactical.
“We are anticipating to face different situations and we have prepared accordingly,” Masuku added.
The Warriors had their morning training session at Gwanzura Stadium yesterday, minus striker Tendai Ndoro who left the country for trials in South Africa this week. He has been ruled out of the match.
FC Platinum’s Donald Ngoma has replaced the Chicken Inn hitman, adding to Bruce Kangwa and Kuda Mahachi who joined the Warriors camp on Monday.
At yesterday’s work-out, more emphasis was put on set-pieces and shooting while the last quarter was spent on taking penalties.
If the match ends goalless at regulation time, it will go straight to penalties and it was clear that coach Gorowa was anticipating that eventuality.
“Of course we want to win the match, but we have to go out there prepared for all the possibilities,” Masuku said.
Captain Masimba Mambare who limped off a training session on Wednesday after picking a knock on his knee, was back at training yesterday.
In the afternoon, the Warriors played a friendly match against Dynamos which they won 4-1 through goals from Charles Sibanda, Peter Moyo, Donald Ngoma and Mambare while the league’s defending champions scored through Washington Pakamisa.
After the match, the final 20-member travelling squad was named with Silas Songani, Oscar Machapa and Kuda Mahachi missing the flight.
Meanwhile, Zambia held close door training on their first day in Ndola on Wednesday ahead of tomorrow’s Chan qualifier against Zimbabwe.
The team arrived in Ndola early Tuesday evening to begin their build-up to tomorrow’s final leg decider against Zimbabwe at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.
They had a practice match against FAZ Division One North club Kalewa FC. Zambia won that match 4-0 thanks to a brace from Zanaco striker Moses Phiri. Nchanga Rangers winger Alex N’gonga and Young Zanaco midfielder Boyd Musonda added a goal each against the second-tier Ndola-based club.
Chipolopolo coach Hervé Renard says beating Zimbabwe would cap their 2013 Cosafa Castle Senior Challenge Cup triumph over them.
“After winning the Cosafa it will be perfect to qualify for the Chan,” Renard said. “We are working very hard and are going to work hard in Ndola.”
T Dube, M Diya, G Chigova, E Chipeta, P Jaure, B Chimwamuchere, H Zvirekwi, D Chafa, M Mambare, P Moyo, A Sadiki, N Maziwisa, D Chungwa, F Chindungwe, M Ncube, D Phiri, T Muparati, B Kangwa, C Sibanda, D Ngoma