HARARE - Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa has called up inexperienced goalkeeper Nelson Simbanegavi from Zifa Northern Region Division One side DC Academy as the keeper crisis in his squad deepens.
Zimbabwe is preparing for Saturday’s second leg of the African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier away to Comoros.
Only How Mine goalkeeper Donovan Bernard had joined camp after Harare City fringe keeper Tatenda Munditi pulled out of the squad due to injury.
Pasuwa’s attempts to call up Dynamos number one Tatenda Mukuruva hit a brick wall after the Zimbabwe champions refused to release the keeper.
DeMbare want to use Mukuruva in Sunday’s league match away to Hwange at the Colliery.
The Warriors coach was also trying to call up CAPS United stopper Chris Mverechena but had not yet received a favourable response.
United have a tough league assignment against Castle Lager Premiership log leaders Chicken Inn at the National Sports Stadium.
With only one goalkeeper in camp, Pasuwa had been left in a quandary and had no choice but to give Simbanegavi the nod.
The 26-year-old, who previously had spells with Shooting Stars and Kiglon, has been the only bright spark for the struggling Glen Norah-based side.
Simbanegavi has conceded 15 goals in 14 matches for the side owned by former Zimbabwe international defender Dickson Choto.
“Yes, we are facing a goalkeeper crisis. We called up the DC Academy goalkeeper to train with us today whilst we are still waiting for a reply from CAPS United,” said Pasuwa.
The Warriors are carrying a 2-0 lead from the first leg courtesy of goals from Evans Rusike and Marshal Mudewe.
Pasuwa is happy with the preparations but was quick to warn his players against underestimating the Indian Ocean islanders.
“The training is going well, it’s coming up and we need our players to understand what we want from them as we are playing away from home,” he said.
“We have been telling them that we are not yet safe. Comoros can spring a surprise, as you know anything can happen in football.
“I know the match will be tough, we need to be at our best for us to get a positive result in Comoros.”
Meanwhile, Zifa is racing against time to raise funds to secure a chartered plane for the trip.
The association is now pinning all their hopes on getting government support to pay for the Air Zimbabwe plane.
Pasuwa said his squad will have to make do with the limited training time as they are now scheduled to arrive in Comoros on Saturday morning, a few hours before kick-off.
“We are having financial problems as Zimbabwe and we would have wanted to get there in time, but we have to work with what we have,” he said.
“Normally, we should have trained at the match venue a day before the match but I don’t know if it will be possible for us now. I also heard the stadium we are playing in has an artificial turf.”
The match will be held at the multi-purpose Stade Said Mohamed Cheikh located in the city of Mitsamiouli.