The Sunday News

Ricky Zililo in Maseru, Lesotho

ZIMBABWE are ready to finish off Lesotho right in their backyard and secure a ticket to next year’s African Nations Championship. 

The Warriors play Likuena in the final leg of the last qualifier at Setsoto Stadium in the Lesotho capital city this afternoon, carrying a 3-1 lead. Without any doubt the best striker in Zimbabwe at present, Prince Dube scored a brace in the first leg played at the National Sports Stadium, with the other goal coming from Wellington Taderera who plays for Black Rhinos.

Acting Warriors coach Joey Antipas declared his charges ready for duty.

“The guys are ready to roll. They understand what’s at stake. Our game plan is simple, we won’t be reckless and attack from the onset. We’ll play our normal game, try to defend our goals and get them on breaks. We are not desperate to go out there and score. We only need to contain them, manage the game and keep them at bay. The main thing is to qualify because you can win the game and qualify, you could lose the game and qualify, you could also draw the game and still qualify. When you are playing away from home, you cannot go and attack Red Indians willy-nilly. If you do that you are exposing yourselves.”

The Warriors arrived safely in Maseru and had a feel of the artificial surface at the match venue yesterday afternoon.

He named a defensive squad that has four attackers, Caps United midfielder Joel Ngodzo who returns into the national team after securing a passport, his teammate Phinias Bamusi, Ralph Kawondera of Triangle United and Dube.

Dynamos goalkeeper Simba Chinani looks set to start ahead of Highlanders’ Ariel Sibanda, with skipper Partson Jaure likely to partner either Peter Muduhwa of Highlanders or ZPC Kariba’s Ian Nekati in central defence. 

Highlanders wingback MacClive Phiri and Chicken Inn’s Xolani Ndlovu should complete the defence line-up.

FC Platinum defensive midfielder Kelvin Madzongwe will provide the shield for the central defence.

Probable Warriors starting XI: Simba Chinani, Ian Nekati, Partson Jaure, Xolani Ndlovu, Peter Muduhwa, Kelvin Madzongwe, Ralph Kawondera, Joel Ngodzo, McClive Phiri, Prince Dube, Phinias Bamusi

— @ZililoR