HIGHLANDERS right-back MacClive Phiri will miss out on his probable Warriors’ debut against Botswana in the Zimbabwe President’s Independence Cup match that will be played at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon due to injury.
Phiri is one of six players that had been called up into camp by senior national football team coach, Sunday Chidzambga, who failed to make it for varying reasons.
His teammate and Highlanders captain, Honest Moyo was also ruled out through injury as was Byron Madzokere.
Bulawayo City’s Ishamael Wadi and Chicken Inn’s Devine Lunga also failed to make it even though they are not injured.
The team had its training session yesterday afternoon at the Zifa Village in preparation for the match that will be part of the main Independence Day celebrations.
“MacClive Phiri and Honest Moyo are injured and have failed to make it for this match. I spoke to the Highlanders’ medical team yesterday (Monday) and I was told that Phiri picked up an injury on Sunday and Honest played while he was nursing an injury and it actually got worse. Innocent Muchaneka is also out as is Madzoker. Ishmael Wadi’s club said that they got the communication late while Devine Lunga asked to be excused for this match,” Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare said.
Of all the players that did not make it for training, only Madzokere was replaced by Yadah captain, Jimmy Dzingai.Chidzambga had 17 players in training yesterday. Mpandare said Chicken Inn midfielder Innocent Mucheneka also picked up an injury in the match against Highlanders.
Today’s match is a platform for Chidzambga to assess the local-based players for the upcoming Cosafa tournament next month and as well as the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
In their last six meetings with Botswana between 2005 and 2014, Zimbabwe managed to win on two occasions, lost two and drew the same number of matches.
Both teams will be taking this match seriously as they gear up for the Cosafa tournament which Zimbabwe will be looking to defend, having won it in Zambia last year.
Football fans can expected high entertainment in this match where both teams are set to go at each other in search of a win.
The celebrations have over the years been marked by a match between local clubs, but this time around Zifa have changed things with an international match.
In Bulawayo, Highlanders and Bulawayo City also clash in an Independence Day celebrations at White City Stadium this afternoon.
With league matches slated for the weekend, both sides are likely to rest their regular players for the celebratory match.
Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu, already with defenders Tendai Ndlovu and Bukhosi Ncube nursing injuries, host tenacious Shabanie Mine at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Bulawayo City, who have struggled in their league campaign, with four defeats, one win and a draw in the first six league games host Triangle at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday and coach Darlington Dodo, in search of that elusive league win, will probably rest his regular side today in preparation for the Lowveld-based outfit at the weekend.
The Warriors squad
Goalkeepers: Takabva Mawaya (ZPC Kariba), Bernard Donovan (Ngezi)
Defenders: Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Steven Makatuka (Caps), Kevin Moyo (FC Platinum), Jimmy Dzingai (Yadah)
Midfielders: Winston Mhango (FC Platinum), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi), Michael Charamba (Ngezi), Ian Nyoni (Chapungu), Ocean Mushure (Dynamos), Raphael Manuvire (Dynamos), Farai Madhanaga (FC Platinum), Leeroy Mavhunga (Yadah)
Strikers: Clive Augusto (Ngezi), Terence Dzukamanja (Ngezi)