Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Warriors left the country by road yesterday for an international friendly match against Malawi at Kamuzu Stadium tomorrow.

The two teams are using the match to prepare for their respective Total Caf Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month.

Malawi take on Burkina Faso, while the Warriors clash with African champions Algeria in back-to-back encounters.

For the Warriors, however, tomorrow’s match might not provide the much needed preparations, as some players will certainly not be part of the squad to face Algeria on November 9 and the return leg in Algiers a week later.

Zifa communications and competitions manager, Xolisani Gwesela, who is also the acting team manager, said they expected to be in Blantyre before midnight yesterday.

The travelling party included all players called up by coach Zdravko Logarusic, except the duo of Alec Mudimu, who plays for Sherrif Tiraspol in Moldova, and Khama Billiat of Kaizer Chiefs. The duo flew straight to Malawi, according to Gwesela.

Also part of the road trip yesterday was Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who arrived in Harare on Thursday night, and Turkish-based Teenage Hadebe, who landed in the capital yesterday morning.

“We are leaving this (yesterday) morning by road,” said Gwesela, as they prepared to undertake the 608km journey to Blantyre.

The 18-member squad comprises nine locally-based players that have not had game time since the end of last season, except for FC Platinum’s Stanley Ngala, who played in his team’s 2-0 win over Highlanders in the Castle Challenge Cup in March.

Zifa announced the squad on Thursday despite having known of the international friendly period in August, when Fifa released the dates.

Their opponents Malawi have been together since last week.

“The list would have been announced before the commencement of the international break as is the norm, but the announcement had to be delayed until we had clearance from Government to travel to Malawi for the match. The Government approved our request to travel to play Malawi on 8 October 2020. Due to travel embargoes in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic, some players from abroad, whom the coach wished to assess, will not make it for this match. Consequently, the technical team incorporated nine locally-based players into the team, with one eye on the upcoming 2021 African Nations Championship,” said Zifa.

Warriors squad
Goalkeepers: Talbert Shumba (Triangle United), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Defenders: Ian Nekati (Chicken Inn), Qadr Amin (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Alec Mudimu (Sherriff Tiraspol), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Buildcon),Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor), MacClive Phiri (Sekhukhune United), Jimmy Dzingai (Nkana FC)
Midfielders: Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa),Tanaka Chinyahara (Red Arrows), Ishamel Wadi (Caps United), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Wellington Taderera (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Phenias Bamusi (Caps United), King Nadolo (Dynamos)
Strikers: Charlton Mashumba (Polokwane City), Stanley Ngala (FC Platinum).
— @skhumoyo2000