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Young Warriors take on Zambia 'expect some fireworks', Friday Phiri

by ByoNEWS
21 Jan 2011 at 16:47hrs | Views
The Zimbabwe Under-23s(Young Warriors) take a 3-2 lead into the second leg of the All-Africa Games preliminary round soccer qualifier against Zambia in Harare on Sunday fully aware the opponent is more than capable of turning the tables.

The national team coach Friday Phiri told reporters on Friday morning that the Zambians are a dangerous proposition quite capable of overturning the score-line should the hosts get complacent.

"For the first leg we didn't know what to expect but now we know the Zambians are dangerous.

"They are very good from midfield going forward and they make effective use of their wings.

"They play with skill and pace. They can pass the ball around very well. We managed to beat them in Lusaka but we will have to work very hard for victory at Rufaro on Sunday." Phiri said.

The Zambians for their part have left nothing to chance in their efforts to overcome the 3-2 deficit and progress to the next round.

No less than six changes have been made to the 18-man squad which faced the Young Warriors in Lusaka two weeks ago.

Furthermore, Zambia coach Lucky Msiska was on Thursday still optimistic that the Israel based duo of striker Roger Kola and midfielder Justine Zulu would join the team in Harare.

TP Mazembe midfielder Stophilla Sunzu is on board already but Swiss based winger Fwawo Thembo, Zimbabwe's tormentor in chief in the first leg, is unavailable this time around.

The Young Warriors however still posses the talent to make it difficult for the Zambians to get the result they need.

With defenders who are good on the ball and capable of initiating attacks, the Zambians likely will have to deal with the kind of direct, counter-attacking football which floored them in Lusaka.

Creative midfielder Denvar Mukamba, who scored for Zimbabwe in the firs led, is looking forward to the tie and confident that ultimately, the Young Warriors will prevail.

"Of cause I do agree that the Zambians are a good side, but so are we. You can expect some fireworks on Sunday.

"We have been together for a few weeks now and we are beginning to know and understand each other's play.

"This can only make us better and I am confident we will win on Sunday," said the 19-year-old.

After scoring just once for Kiglon last season, Mukamba has suddenly found his range and top scored for the Zimbabwe Under-20s with four goals at the Cosafa Championships.

He scored Zimbabwe's second goal in Lusaka and his mentor at Kiglon last season Lloyd Mutasa believes he has the talent scale greater heights.

"It has always been evident from what he does at training that it was only a matter of time before he started scoring.

"The good thing is that when he is not scoring he is creating chances for teammates with his incisive passing.

"He has a knack for doing the unexpected. He is hardworking and discipline. The sky is the limit for him," Mutasa said.

Mukamba' combination with Dynamos' Archford Gutu and the equally talented Simba Sithole should provide some quality entertainment for the highly excitable Rufaro crowd.

But the coaches are reluctant to bring back into the starting line-up Joel Ngodzo, another exciting prospect from Highlanders who missed the first leg after flying out for trials in South Africa.

Ngodzo likely will start on the bench, with Highlanders teammate Rahman Kutsanzira again occupying the right wing.

There has however been a forced change at the back where centre-half Knowledge Machona misses out following the passing away of his father early in the week.

Probable line-up

Ariel Sibanda, Passmore Bernard, Blessing Sande, Lincoln Zvasiya, Quadr Amin, Timire Mamvura, Devon Chafa, Archford Gutu, Denvar Mukamba, Rahman Kutsanzira, Simba Sithole.

Source - ByoNEWS | SS