ZIMBABWE Under-23 soccer team captain and Caps United left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai is confident of leading his charges to victory over Swaziland in an international friendly match at Somhlolo National Stadium in Mbabane this evening.
The match starts at 7pm.
The Young Warriors arrived in Mbabane on Monday afternoon after a 400km journey from South Africa where they had landed from Harare.
Pfumbidzai immediately declared they were in Swaziland to win.
“We are here to win. We know nothing about the Swaziland team. We are a new team, but we played together at the Under-20 level and we know each other well,” Pfumbidzai told the Swazi Observer.
The Young Warriors will be looking to put behind them the defeat they suffered at the hands of neighbours Botswana in their first international friendly since the appointment of coaches Kalisto Pasuwa and assistants Saul Chaminuka and Nation Dube.
The Young Warriors were edged 0-1 by the Zebras in that practice match and will be out to restore some pride and come up with a positive result against Sihlangu.
After making three changes to the team that lost to Botswana, Chaminuka and Dube will be hoping for an improved performance this evening. Tonderai Mateyaunga and Terrence Gonzo from ZPC Kariba, and Pritchard Mphelele from Hwange are the new faces roped into the team.
They come in as replacements for Dynamos goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva, FC Platinum’s Walter Musona and Keith Tafadzwa Mavunga of ZPC Kariba.
Chaminuka told the association’s official website www.zifa.org.zw before departure that he was happy to be given another opportunity to have a look at his playing personnel.
“We are glad that Zifa has presented us with another opportunity to assess our boys. We are optimistic and confident that we will build a strong team for the Under-23 African Championships qualifiers,” he said.
Zimbabwe is using the friendly match as part of preparations for the Under-23 African Championships to be staged in Democratic Republic of Congo as well as for the All-Africa Games.
Interestingly, the Young Warriors were drawn to face Swaziland in both qualifiers, but this match had been arranged before the draw was conducted.
Zim 18-member squad
Tonderai Mateyaunga, Terrence Gonzo (ZPC Kariba), Bernard Donovan, Emmanuel Mandiranga (How Mine) Blessing Moyo (Dynamos), Praise Tonha (Triangle) Liberty Chakoroma (Buffaloes), Lawrence Mhlanga (Chicken Inn), Kelvin Moyo, Wisdom Mutasa (FC Platinum) Ronald Pfumbidzai, Charles Mukanhairi (Caps United), Nqobizitha Masuku (Bantu Rovers), Brian Muzondiwa (Black Rhinos), Pritchard Mpelele (Hwange), Gabriel Nyoni, Knox Mutizwa (Highlanders), Rodwell Rusere (DC Academy)