WARRIORS IN GOALKEEPING CRISIS

MVERECHENAGrace Chingoma Sports Reporter
WARRIORS coach Callisto Pasuwa has called up CAPS United goal-minder Chris Mverechena as he moves to avert a potential goalkeeping crisis ahead of his team’s trip to Comoros Islands scheduled for tomorrow.

The Warriors, carrying a 2-0 first leg lead achieved at Rufaro via a goal each by Evans Rusike and Marshal Mudehwe two weeks ago, are expected to fly out to Comoros for an African Nations Championships preliminary round tie on Saturday.

There are indications that a chartered flight being organised for the Warriors will leave Harare tomorrow night and return early on Sunday morning.

But it is the issue of goalkeepers which yesterday presented a fresh bother for Pasuwa.

After failing to secure the release of first choice goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva from Dynamos, Pasuwa had included Harare City’s Tatenda Munditi as cover for How Mine’s Donovan Bernard.

Munditi has, however, been ruled out reportedly because of a medical problem that looks set to keep him out of the game for a long period and Pasuwa has now turned to promising CAPS United ‘keeper Mverechena.

Warriors team manager Shariff Mussa said they had approached CAPS United and were awaiting the Green Machine’s response.

There were indications though from CAPS United coach Mark Mathe that Mverenchena could be given the green light to travel with the Warriors

“As far as we are concerned, we will not stand in the way of the young man when he has found a chance to be in the national colours but we are still liaising with the Warriors technical team. We also have one of our goalkeepers injured but I think Chris will still be able to go with the national team. The picture will become clearer tomorrow,’’ Mathe said.

CAPS United will host log leaders Chicken Inn at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

With the Premiership’s Week 15 programme taking place during the same weekend that the Warriors will be in Comoros, Pasuwa and his lieutenants — Saul Chaminuka and Nation Dube — have been restricted to picking not more than two players from each club.

Clubs, under pressure to improve on their log standings at the halfway mark of the season have also been reluctant to release their key players.

It is against this background that champions Dynamos have held on to Mukuruva and midfielder Ronald Chitiyo despite the latter’s proposed trial stint in South Africa being shelved by at least another week.

Dynamos who will travel to Hwange for a tricky Premiership fixture have already released defender Blessing Moyo and midfielder Carlos Rusere to the national team.

While awaiting feed-back from CAPS United, the Warriors yesterday had DC Academy goalkeeper Nelson Simbanegavi to partner Bernard in the goalkeeping drills.

Hwange striker Pritchard Mphelele has also been ruled out after he developed tonsillitis and will not be fit in time for the game.

Pasuwa was still satisfied that after two days of training his side was slowly shaping up.

“Prichard Mpelele is out. He is not feeling well and the situation is not improving. Tatenda Mukuruva is also out he has gone back to his club they want him and we had wanted Tatenda Munditi but there are also some issues.

“We got a goalkeeper from DC Academy for training today whilst we wait for CAPS United about Chris Mverechena and Sharif has been sorting that and we don’t know the response yet.

“The team is coming up and we need to make them understand the way we want to play remember it is away and we also need security,” Pasuwa said.

The four-time Premiership winning coach said they would take a cautious approach to their game on Saturday and preserve the advantage they already enjoy and would not go all out on attack again.

“It is a matter of going up and down. We attack and we defend that is the way we want to play.

“We shouldn’t leave too much space. We have been talking to them that 2-0 cushion is not enough to say that we are safe.

“Maybe they (Comoros) can even score two goals there and we would be in trouble. We need as much to play defensively so that we don’t concede a goal,” Pasuwa said.

It is with that defensive approach that Pasuwa had wanted to have a more experienced goalkeeper between the sticks.

Pasuwa said they will have to make to do with the travel arrangements which may see them arriving in the early hours of Saturday the match day.

“We have problems as a country financially and in as much as we wanted to get there in time and have a training day at the match venue but that is the situation on the ground.

“I heard we are playing on the artificial turf so I don’t know whether we will get a chance to train on the pitch,” he said.

Pasuwa’s selection options were also boosted by the arrival of Liberty Chakoroma of Buffaloes who had reportedly left the country last week for trials in South Africa.

The former Dynamos coach will also be hoping that Emmanuel Mandiranga who limped off during training yesterday did not pick a serious injury.

Skipper Danny Phiri also insisted that his troops were focused on finishing off Comoros and would not dwell much on haggling over monetary issues with ZIFA.

“They are a difficult side to break down. We have to work hard and hopefully get more goals. “The replacements are equally good. Morale in camp is high and hopefully we will do well. I cannot talk about money right now there are issues but we just need to be focused on the game,” Phiri said.

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