Young Warriors gear up for Moza
HARARE – Zimbabwe’s Under-17 football team believe they will overcome the rigours of travelling by road in time for the first round, second leg of the African Youth Championships qualifier against hosts Mozambique in Maputo on Saturday.
The Young Warriors, who drew 2-2 at home two weeks ago in the first leg, left for Mozambique by road yesterday via Forbes Border Post and expect to reach the Mozambican capital this afternoon.
“We are hoping to reach there in time so that we can recover and be in a better condition to face Mozambique,” said Young Warriors coach Lloyd Chigove.
“Given the fact that we drew at home, we really need to be in the best form and condition for us to secure a good result that will take us to the next round”.
Chigove made minimal changes to the squad that drew with the Mozambicans in the first leg.
“We have brought in Nigel Makumbe, an Aces Youth Academy attacking midfielder, to replace Bantu Rovers’ Arnold Mpofu. We have also brought in goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi as a reserve keeper.”
Chigove’s teenagers, who twice drew with Zambia in friendlies played over the weekend, were working on ironing out the weaknesses that were very evident in the first leg.
“We have been working on our finishing, which was not of the highest standard against Mozambique in the first leg. The two friendlies last weekend against Zambia have helped us in a big way.
“We are also mindful of the fact that we should not concede in the second leg. We have moved captain Carlos Mavhurume from defence into midfield as part of measures to strengthen the defence.”
The Young Warriors technical team have resisted calls for Mavhurume to be dropped as skipper after he was at fault for the goals the Young Warriors conceded in the first leg.
“We have decided not to rock the boat, so Carlos will remain captain. He has been reassigned a midfield role,” said Chigove.
Carlos Mavhurume (captain), Tatenda Munditi, Tatenda Mukuruva, Bastos Chihowa, Levingston Jenti, Nyasha Munetsi, Kelvin Bingala, Emmanuel Mandiranga, Bret Amidu, Tinotenda Kadewere, Denzel Chimwemwe, Cleopas Kapupurika, Sean Kwaranika, Matheus Choreva, Washington Parira, Nigel Makumbe, Viali Tadzoka.