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Date: 26 September 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Of surprise omissions, bad inclusions in Pasuwa's Warriors squad

[Posted 01 Sep 2015]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Of surprise omissions, bad inclusions in Pasuwa"s Warriors squad




Calisto Pasuwa, the Zimbabwe senior national soccer team (the Warriors) has assembled what looks like a great team on paper barring any last minute withdrawals. However, there are some very crious additions and shocking omissions in the Warriors squad to face Guines in an AFCON 2017 qualifier in Harare on Sunday.

The great news about Pasuwa's selections is the inclusion of key and in-form Europe-based players such as defender Costa Nhamoinesu of Sparta Praha in the Czech Republic topflight, Nyasha Mushekwi one of the leading goal scorers in the Sweden topflight, Knowledge Musona who is leading the goals charts in Belgium's Pro League and Matthew Rusike of Halmstad in Sweden who has scored three goals in his last two matches in Sweden's topflight. There have also been places for South Africa-based players such as the returning experienced keeper Washington Arubi of AmaTuks in South Africa's premiership, midfield anchor and Warriors captain Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs, Khama Billiat of Mamelodi Sundowns, among others.

Pasuwa has however made some very shocking inclusions in his squad. His biggest howlers included the giving places to players such as Quincy Antipas who had played no part in Hobro's last six games, meaning all matches into the 2015/2016 Danish season. How an experienced coach of Pasuwa's calibre and the entire technical team could have missed out on that fact is really baffling to say the least.

Yet another surprise inclusion is that of inactive (at club level) Kudakwashe Mahachi. The Mamelodi Sundowns player is not even registered by his club, and may not even be training with the club's A team, and has not even found suitors for a loan deal. Mahachi was clearly out his depth in the matches he played for the Under 23 team against South Africa. While he displayed physical fitness probably because of some training, he exhibited a clear lack of match fitness and sharpness.

It was also very surprising that Pasuwa could call on Tendayi Darikwa without verifying whether the player has a Zimbabwean passport or not. Now the player has indicated his unavailability to play for Zimbabwe. There are chances that Darikwa, who was born and grew up in the UK, might not even have a Zimbabwean passport. Qualifying to play or Zimbabwe and being in a position to do so are two different things. It seems that most Zimbabwean fans might have been aware of Darikwa's hope to play for England, except the national team's coach. It was always doubtful that Darikwa would have accepted a call-up given the fact that he has now moved from League One to the Championship. At 23, he still has great potential to play for a better resourced and better managed English national team (in terms of administration). The coach should at least have contacted the player to get a feel of all this before including him in the squad.

The consequence of lack of due diligence on the part of the Warriors technical team is that ZIFA might have missed out on the chance to include a better placed and in-form defender in the squad. I am talking about Chippa United of SA's Eric Chipeta. Zimbabwe currently has no better player for the right back position. Chipeta has demonstrated ability to defend, to initiate attacks on the right channe l of midfield, and has been very useful in set-pieces for Chippa United. Chipta was more realistically a better option than Darikwa at this stage.

It is surprising that Pasuwa omitted Onismor Bhasera in preference for Milton Ncube who drifts in and of the Ajax Cape Town first team. Bhasera has been consistent for the dpast two seasons and is currently in great form for Bidvest Wits. His exclusion is inexplicable.

In the absence of a better explanation or rationale for exclusion, Marvelous Nakamba's absence is the most glaring omission from Pasuwa's Warriors selection. Nakamba is currently in imperious form for Vitesse in one of Europe's toughest leagues, the Dutch Eredivise league. Nakamba now commands a starting berth at his club than during the time he received his first call in the 2-1 away victory over Malawi. To prefer an inactive Mahachi over an in-form Europe-based player should rank as the greatest shock of the year! 

At centre back, Carlington Nyadombo who is now back in action might have been a better option in defence than say Liberty Chakoroma. Nyadombo had a decent game in Polokwane City colours in the 1-1 draw against giants Kaizer Chiefs. However, Pasuwa's choice of Chakoroma can be defended if one considers that he is more concerned about the future and also the fact that Chakoroma has played more games for the Under 23 side and also in the CHAN qualifier. 

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