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Warriors to play Gabon


AS THE African Nations Championships (Chan) finals preparations gather momentum, the Warriors have confirmed yet another friendly match against Gabon pencilled for Johannesburg, South Africa, on January 7.


On Sunday, the Warriors beat Mozambique 2-1 in an international friendly match at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo and could, as early as today, confirm another match against Libya.

The Libya match has been on the cards for some time now, but the venue and the finer details are still under discussion.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed the Gabon match yesterday.

“I can confirm that one friendly has been confirmed against Gabon and it will be played in Jo’burg, South Africa. They were supposed to play against Libya on Friday in that country, but we will only be able to confirm that when we meet tomorrow (today), that is when we will have more details on the match.

“Now that we have played Mozambique, the players will go into camp and the coach will work with a group of 25 before they are cut down to the 23 who will be travelling to South Africa for Chan,” he said.

Mashingaidze said national team coach Ian Gorowa preferred to camp in Bulawayo and they were still to finalise on the details of the camp.

“We are going to be organising the camp tomorrow (today). The national team coach would love to camp in Bulawayo,” he said.

He added that the camp would run up to the time the team leaves for South Africa for the championship — from January 11 to February 1.

Mashingaidze said they wanted to build firm foundations for not only Chan, but for Cosafa and the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that will start next September. He said the players would be in camp from this month up to the time they leave so that coaches work on their physical and mental fitness.

In a post-match interview on Sunday, Gorowa said they were still to discuss the way forward for the Warriors.

“Pertaining to the Libya friendly, I cannot say much because we are still waiting for communication on that one. We are still to be told what is next for the team,” he said.

Zimbabwe beat Mozambique 2-1 on Sunday at Barbourfields Stadium with goals coming from Simba Sithole and Ali Sadiki while Mozambique were awarded a penalty taken by Diego Antonio.

Gorowa used a couple of newcomers in the team who included Frankson Bushire, Pasca Manhanga and Nqobizitha Masuku.

Some of the players who took part in the Mozambique friendly could make it in to the final 23 that will travel to South Africa for the African Nations Championship.

Zimbabwe were drawn against Morocco, Burkina Faso and Uganda in Group B.

Since its inauguration four years ago, Zimbabwe has never made it past the group stages, having faltered in Ivory Coast and Sudan.

But under Gorowa, there seems to be some ray of hope and should the government come in with the much needed financial support, the Warriors could reach the quarter-finals for the first time as the major source of problems have been under-funding and players failing to get bonuses and allowances.

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