Pagels confident ahead of Egypt tie

WARRIORS coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels is confident his men will defeat Egypt in their 2014 World Cup qualifier at the giant National Sports Stadium in Harare on Sunday.

Report by Tawanda Tafirenyika

Zimbabwe fell 1-2 to Egypt in the first leg in Alexandria on March 26 to bow out of the world showpiece, but Pagels believes that does not stop the Warriors from securing a morale boosting victory against the Pharoahs.

The German coach said he observed that his defence was exposed in Egypt and was now working on the weaknesses.

The Warriors trained at the match venue yesterday under the watchful eyes of Pagels and his assistants Lloyd Mutasa, Peter Ndlovu and goalkeepers’ coach Nkululeko Dhlamini.

Pagels said the Warriors — who started camp on Monday night — had a chance to watch a DVD of the March loss against Egypt.

The Warriors coach emphasised that they would not be on holiday, but need to win the match against the visitors even though Zimbabwe has already fallen out of contention for the global soccer showcase to be held in Brazil next year. Zimbabwe are at the foot of the table with just a single point.

Pagels, whose Warriors travel to Conakry to face Guinea after the Sunday match, is using the remaining World Cup qualifiers to build a side for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

“Yesterday evening (Monday), we had a DVD session where I showed them the match against Egypt. We had weaknesses in defence in the match against Egypt and I talked about it and this morning (yesterday) we have been trying to rectify those.

“I am really happy with the players. They were very engaging and they now know what they need to improve on.  The players are happy to be here and proud to be playing for Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabweans should expect a team with a high fighting spirit, really good team spirit. The players know they are not here on holiday, but to win this match and are really motivated,” Pagels said after the training session.

Zimbabwe will be pinning their hopes on Germany-based Knowledge Musona, who scored the only goal in the reverse fixture.

SuperSport United striker Simba Sithole, who was making a comeback to the team after missing the first leg owing to injury, was ruled out again because of a recurrent injury.

Pagels said there was no need to replace Sithole as they still had a full squad which would be trimmed to 18 before the clash.

The Warriors, who play Monomotapa in a practice match today, round off their World Cup qualifiers with a home tie against Mozambique on September 6.
On June 16, they will face Guinea in Conakry.

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