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Triumphant Warriors Turn to COSAFA Qualifiers

  • Michael Kariati

It’s a busy football weekend as Zimbabwe’s Warriors shift focus to the Cosafa Castle Cup.

The Warriors have now turned their attention to the Cosafa Castle Cup hoping for a record fifth title after qualifying for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals with one game to spare.

The Warriors’ world ranking has sunk so low in international football to the extent that they have been reduced to playing in the qualifying stages of such low key tournaments like the Cosafa Castle Cup.

The Warriors are in the same qualifying group with Swaziland, Seychelles, and Madagascar and need to top their group to join the elite in the tournament.

The last time the Zimbabwean were at this competition, the Warriors were eliminated in the first round but this time history making coach Kalisto Pasuwa is looking far beyond that.

Coach Kalisto Pasuwa has taken his strongest squad available including four players Elisha Muroyiwa, Danny Phiri, Hardlife Zvirekwi, and Tatenda Mukuruva who started in the Warriors 3-0 rout of Malawi on their way to qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

The Warriors begin their campaign at the Sam Nujoma Stadium Saturday against a Swaziland side that is on a roll after their shock 1-0 win over Guinea in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

However, there are others like Kenias Muchabaiwa, who is not thinking of Zimbabwe’s participation in the Cosafa Castle Cup, but something else.

The Euro 2016 kick off in France Friday evening with the opening match between the hosts France and Romania.

At the same time, the Zimbabwe Under-20 side play away to Cameroon in the second leg of their 2016 Africa Youth Championships qualifiers.

The two teams played a goalless draw in the first leg at the National Sports Stadium and the Young Warriors need a win or a scoring draw to progress to the next stage.

Although from the outset this looks like an impossible mission, Young Warriors captain Ben Musaka believes they can go all the way to Yaounde and pick up a good results.

Musaka says after the first game at the National Sports Stadium they should change their tactics against their physically imposing hosts.

There are also six Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches to look forward to. Moses Chunga makes his return to Premiership coaching when he takes his Harare City team to Baobab Stadium against Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Chunga took over from the sacked Taurayi Mangwiro and with the money the Harare City authorities have spent in acquiring talent, Chunga has to deliver or else he will find himself following the Mangwiro path.

The other matches are as follows:

Saturday

Chapungu v Dynamos -Ascot
FC Platinum v ZPC Kariba - Mandava
Tsholotsho v How Mine - White City

Sunday

Caps United v Triangle - NSS
Mutare City v Bulawayo City -Sakubva

Now to cricket: International cricket returns at Harare Sports Club Saturday where the Chevrons entertain former world champions India, in the first of their Three ODI Series.

India have brought a completely inexperienced side and new Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer says this suits them well although they would have wanted a much stronger India.

Cremer took over after Zimbabwe Cricket sacked Hamilton Masakadza on the same day Makhaya Ntini was also appointed the national coach to replace Dave Whatmore.

Apart from the Three ODIs, the two teams will also face each other in three T2O internationals.

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