The Sunday Mail
SUNDAY CHIDZAMBWA was not distracted by last month’s attempted coup on his assistants and has his hand on the pulse ahead of next month’s make or break Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo.
Chidzambwa revealed that he has started pondering over the troops he will summon for next month’s tie at the National Sports Stadium.
Tickets for the match are already on sale and the countdown to the crucial match, in which Zimbabwe just need a point to qualify for the AFCON finals, has officially begun.
Zimbabwe , who lead Group G of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers with eight points, one ahead of Liberia, just need a draw to seal qualification.
Chidzambwa’s technical team was shaken on January 9, when Zifa vice president Gift Banda “unilaterally” suspended Mhofu’s trusted lieutenants Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo.
However, the move was swiftly reversed and Banda was suspended.
And with the dust seemingly settled, Chidzambwa has challenged every Zimbabwean player to show what they are made of.
“It’s about two months before the Congo game so we have enough time to monitor all the players. The door is open for those who impress during this period,” said Chidzambwa.
“We are following all the players across Europe and South Africa. We are also monitoring Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum who are playing in the Champions League. We expect to announce the squad end of February or early March.
“The squad will be picked on merit and the challenge is for the players to show that they can do the business when called up.”
Chidzambwa’s call comes at a time when some players have excelled themselves back into contention for a Warriors jersey while some regulars like skipper Knowledge Musona and number one goalie George Chigova have experienced mixed fortunes.
Chigova recently regained his jersey at ABSA Premiership side Polokwane City after being sidelined by injury.
Going into yesterday’s round of fixtures the big goalie had made 11 league appearances for Rise and Shine and conceded 12 times including five in his team’s latest two league games.
Chigova’s performances have been brought back into the gaze by Elvis Chipezeze’s impressive shows for Baroka in the Absa Premiership.
The former Chicken Inn and 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Year has made 14 appearances for Baroka, conceding as many while keeping four clean sheets in the process.
Although castigated by Mamelodi Sundowns talkative coach Pitso Mosimame for his “old dog” time-wasting tricks, Chipezeze has been instrumental at the Telkom Knockout champions.
Petroes Mhari is also raising his hand with some impressive shows as FC Platinum make their debut appearance in the Caf Champions League group stage.
Veteran Tapuwa Kapini, continues to defy age with some breathtaking saves for Highlands Park, and has also not completely ruled out a return to the Warriors if called up.
The Warriors’ second choice keeper Edmore Sibanda (34), has made 14 appearances for relegation threatened First Division side Witbank Spurs, keeping three clean sheets.