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Hadebe boost for Warriors

by Staff reporter
07 Oct 2021 at 07:05hrs | Views
THE Warriors technical team yesterday received a major boost after United States-based star Teenage Hadebe managed to board his flight to Ghana for Zimbabwe's Group G World Cup qualifier against the Black Stars at the weekend.

Hadebe and England-based Brendan Galloway were the only players on the travelling squad who had not arrived in Ghana yesterday after they had both missed flights from their respective bases.

The rest of the squad, led by the returning coach Norman Mapeza, arrived in the capital Accra yesterday morning before proceeding to Cape Coast, the match city, in the afternoon ahead of the Saturday clash.

There were fears that the duo, which is set to partner at the heart of the Warriors defence in this new-look Warriors squad, were going to miss this must win World Cup qualifier.

The two, according to national teams general manager Wellington Mpandare missed their scheduled flights on Tuesday because of problems with their traveling documents.

However, Hadebe, with the help of officials from his club Houston Dynamo, managed to board in the evening and is scheduled to arrive in the Ghanaian capital this afternoon.

He confirmed the trip by posting a picture of himself inside a plane on his social media platforms in the evening yesterday with a caption, "When duty calls."

The Houston Dynamo defender was thrice denied permission to board Ghana bound planes on Tuesday, leaving Mapeza and his technical team sweating over his unavailability.

Hadebe and Galloway, together with several UK-based stars missed Zimbabwe's opening two qualifiers against South Africa and Ethiopia last month due to travel restrictions induced by the coronavirus.

"Teenage tried three times to board the plane but failed," Mpandare told NewsDay Sport from Cape Coast yesterday.

"The first time he could not get to the airport on time after playing a match for his club. The second time they said his COVID-19 certificate was invalid since it didn't have a code. After that had been rectified, the airport authorities insisted on some documents from his club which he provided but they still denied him permission to board."

An official with Houston Dynamo had to accompany the player to the airport to sort out the matter.

Galloway, who is looking to get his first international cap, was denied permission to board a plane because of visa issues.

"For Galloway it was just a misunderstanding with the person who was checking him in but that should be sorted out tonight," Mpandare said yesterday.

"The person demanded a visa yet it is issued on arrival for all the commonwealth countries. We are hopeful that he will make it. We are hoping that Galloway will arrive tonight," he added.

There were no such hiccups for other UK-based stars including Marvelous Nakamba, Tendayi Darikwa and the in-form Jordan Zemura who all flew straight to Ghana and joined the rest of the squad.

"We have received massive support from our embassy here led by ambassador Chinoza Kufa, who has been picking our players from the airport as they arrived in batches. Some players arrived at around 3am, and the ambassador waited for them and only left when everything was sorted," Mpandare said.

The team was expected to have its first training session yesterday evening.

Zimbabwe currently anchor Group G with one point from their opening two matches of the qualifiers following their goalless home draw against South Africa and a 1-0 defeat away to Ethiopia.

After the Saturday clash, Zimbabwe and Ghana will clash again in the reverse fixture on Tuesday at the National Sports Stadium.

South Africa lead the group with four points while Ghana and Ethiopia are tied on three. The top team from the group go through to the final qualifying round for next year's World Cup finals to be staged in Qatar

Warriors squad

Goalkeepers: Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF), Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars), Washington Arubi (Marumo Gallants)

Defenders: Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi), Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle), Bruce Kangwa (Azam), Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Onismor Bhasera (SuperSport United), Rahman Kutsanzira (FC Platinum), Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo), Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic)

Midfielders: Blessing Sarupinda (Sekhukhune United), Farai Madhanaga (Marumo Gallants), Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United), Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims), Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Never Tigere (Azam), Perfect Chikwende (Simba SC), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United)

Strikers: Knowledge Musona (Al-Tai), Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates)

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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