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Zimbabwe's New Soccer Coach Hopes to Upset Mali in Africa Cup Qualifier


Warriors coach Norman Mapeza, appointed last week, says his team looks strong heading into camp in another week or so to get ready for the Africa Cup Of Nations qualifier against Mali late this month

Zimbabwe Warriors Coach Norman Mapeza, appointed last week, says his team looks strong heading into camp in another week to get ready for its Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mali near the end of March.

The team roster set down by Mapeza did not include former captain Esrom Nyandoro, now with South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns.

Some fans criticized his exclusion of some high-profile international players, but Mapeza said he'll welcome them back once they recover their form.

The lineup also excluded Denmark-based Quincy Antipas, son of assistant coach Joey Antipas, and Clemence Matawu, now playing league football in Poland.

Mapeza said he included younger players, particularly from the under-23 squad who played good football last season. One suprise addition to the team is Khama Billiart, who will be playing his maiden match for the national team.

Mapeza dismissed talk that he is unqualified to lead the national team, noting that he is a former player and has gone through training to fully qualify himself.

He told VOA Studio 7 reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye that he’s confident his team can achieve a victory over Mali in the upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifier.

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