Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
WARRIORS coach Ian Gorowa has named a 17-man side for an international friendly against Malawi in Blantyre on Wednesday with the gaffer keeping faith in the bulk of the players who did duty at the African Nations Championships in South Africa.Gorowa, who has been pressing financially troubled Zifa to fulfill the international friendly on the Fifa date on March 5, included six players who are plying their trade in South Africa and Czech-based left back Costa Nhamoinesu for the encounter.
Nhamoinesu has previously been called up for duty but somehow always failed to turn up but Gorowa has since taking over as Warriors coach in August last year indicated that he wants to have a look at the former Masvingo United man ahead of the start of the 2015 African Cup of Nations qualifiers.
University of Pretoria goalkeeper Washington Arubi is expected to lead the side whose names were released by Warriors team manager Sharrif Mussa yesterday.
Soweto giants and ABSA Premiership log leaders Kaizer Chiefs contribute the highest number of players from the foreign-legion with the trio of defensive midfielder Willard Katsande and the striking pair of Knowledge Musona and Kingston Nkatha included in the side.
Mamelodi Sundowns forward Khama Billiat is also in the side together with gangly AmaZulu centre back Carlington Nyadombo.
Mussa said they had excused the Dynamos players from the friendly as the Harare giants will be on the road to the Democratic Republic of Congo on the same period that the Warriors will be playing Malawi.
Dynamos, who face AS Vita in a Champions League first round clash at the National Sports Stadium today, will then be on the road in midweek to fulfill the reverse fixture in Kinshasa.
That means coach Callisto Pasuwa, who is Gorowa’s assistant in the Warriors, CHAN squad skipper Partson Jaure, goalkeeper George Chigova, Masimba Mambare, Augustine Mbara, Simba Sithole, Themba Ndlovu and Oscar Machapa cannot be considered for the match against Malawi.
“South Africa-based players and the coach will fly direct from Johannesburg to Blantyre and the locally-based players and the rest of the technical will leave Harare for Blantyre by road in the early hours of Monday and we will have our training in Malawi on Tuesday and play the match the following day. That is the arrangement that is there so far,’’ Mussa said.
Mussa said the fact that the foreign legion would fly to and from South Africa meant that the Chiefs players would not be affected as they would be back in Johannesburg in time for Amakhosi’s trip for a Champions League assignment.
Chiefs will play Liga Muculmana on the same weekend that DeMbare will be in DRC while on the same Fifa date that the Warriors will be in Malawi, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana will be entertaining 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Gorowa, however, appears to have stuck to his word to try and rebuild his Nations Cup squad around the players who excelled during the CHAN tournament with the likes of Chicken Inn’s defensive midfielder Danny Phiri – clearly the unsung hero – of the Warriors brave run in South Africa being retained.
Despite Chigova being absent because of club duties CAPS United’s number one Tafadzwa Dube will continue to be an understudy in the Warriors but this time to Arubi.
Defenders Hardlife Zvirekwi, Eric Chipeta and Milton Ncube who together with Jaure formed the rock on which the Warriors CHAN success story was built, have also been retained.
Highlander’s wing back Ncube may have to contend with Nhamoinesu if the enigmatic left back makes the trip to Blantyre this time.
Gorowa, however, omitted the CHAN misfiring forwards preferring the sharper and more seasoned attacking line that will be fronted by Musona.
FC Platinum newboy Gift Bello may not have been part of the CHAN squad but he has been given an opportunity to impress the coach when he travels to Malawi.
The last meeting between the Warriors and the Flames was a Cosafa Castle Cup quarter-final, which Zimbabwe then under the guidance of Klaus Dieter Pagels won after penalties at Nkoloma Stadium in Zambia.
Zimbabwe had taken the lead through captain Masimba Mambare in the 13th minute.
The Warriors, however, lacked intensity in the second half and allowed Malawi to draw level through a calamitous blunder by goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu.
It then came down to the lottery of penalties where Devon Chafa , Ocean Mushure and Chipeta converted for Zimbabwe, while Chiukepo Msowoya was the only one to hit the back of the net for Malawi.
In their last meeting Malawi and Zimbabwe were under the guidance of foreign coaches – Tom Saintfiet and Pagels – but both have since resorted to their nationals with Young Chimodzi taking charge of the Flames while Gorowa is control of the Warriors.
Washington Arubi, Tafadzwa Dube, Costa Nhamoinesu, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Milton Ncube, Eric Chipeta, Peter Moyo, Danny Phiri, Pascal Manhanga, Kuda Mahachi, Ali Sadiki, Gift Bello, Willard Katsande, Khama Billiat, Carlington Nyadombo, Knowledge Musona, Kingston Nkatha.