WARRIORS defender Eric Chipeta believes he has developed a telepathic understanding with central defence partner Partson Jaure and declares they will keep a clean sheet when they face Tanzania in the first round, first leg of the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers on Sunday.
Chipeta said what was important was for them to maintain discipline at the back to avoid conceding against the Taifa Stars.
“It’s a tricky fixture. Tanzania has raised their game, but we have to do our best and force a win away. We gained a lot from the Chan (African Nations Championships) tournament. We have been playing together for some time and we now understand each other especially with Jaure.
“With the coming in of some of the guys from South Africa we are gelling and will try to keep a clean sheet in Tanzania. All we need is to maintain discipline at the back,” Chipeta said.
The Hwange defender, expected to join Chippa United of South Africa in July, was one of the stars of the Chan tournament where the Warriors displayed a brave show to reach the semi-finals.
That, he says, has given them the confidence they need as they bid to qualify for the continental tournament in Morocco.
The Warriors defence at the Chan tournament was manned by skipper Jaure who partnered Chipeta at the heart with Highlanders’ Milton Ncube and Caps United’s Hardlife Zvirekwi operating as wing-backs.
Their defensive ability won them a lot of admirers after conceding just two goals in open play. They drew 0-0 against Morocco in the opening match and played another goalless draw against Uganda before stunning Burkina Faso 1-0 through a Masimba Mambare header to make it to the last eight.
They came up against Mali in the quarter-finals and ran out 2-1 winners with former How Mine striker Simba Sithole, now with Cape Town Ajax in South Africa and Kuda Mahachi finding the target.
In the semi-finals, they drew 0-0 against Libya after 120 minutes of play and eventually lost 4-5 on penalties before losing 0-1 to Nigeria in the third-place play-off.
Gorowa’s men assembled on Tuesday, but Sithole picked up an injury which ruled him out of the tie and has been replaced by How Mine striker Kuda Musharu.
Gorowa will be without Kaizer Chiefs’ Kingston Nkatha and Willard Katsande who have asked to be excused citing injury and sickness respectively. Katsande though, sources say, is not sick, but wants to attend the Absa PSL awards night on Sunday where he has been nominated for two awards – player of the year and players’ player of the year.
Katsande had been expected to join camp late on Tuesday as he was travelling from his base in South Africa, but team manager Shariff Mussa said they had spoken with him and had told them he had fallen sick and would no longer make it.
Bantu Rovers midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku has been ruled out of the clash due to injury and has been replaced by Wonder Kapinda of Black Rhinos.
Caps United defender Stephen Makatuka had been called up, but he would no longer be making the trip as he does not have a passport.
The team is scheduled to leave tomorrow. The second leg has been set for Harare between May 30 and June 2 with the winner of the two-legged encounter facing either South Sudan or Mozambique in the next round.
Should the Warriors beat their opponents, they will book a place in Group F, which has neighbours Zambia, the Cape Verde Islands and Niger. The top two teams will proceed from this group to the Morocco finals.