Pasuwa’s Afcon conundrum

Fungai Muderere
THE national senior soccer team takes on Swaziland in back to back Afcon qualifier matches in  the next few weeks.

Consequently, national team coach Kallisto Pasuwa has a huge task on his hands of picking a very good squad.

Fortunately the impressive performances of players abroad could make the task easier for Pasuwa or maybe harder to choose the best squad with available talent.

Here are some of the in-form players based in foreign lands that many would believe Pasuwa’s technical department cannot afford to leave out.

Khama Billiat
Arguably the best player in the ABSA Premiership at the moment, Khama Billiat has been key to the Mamelodi Sundowns dominance. Billiat has been unstoppable for the better part of the season and his sensational form will certainly come in handy for the Warriors.

Willard Katsande
The midfield enforcer has been picking up man-of -the -match awards quite regularly and will be contesting against Billiat for ABSA Premiership Player of the season if he continues with his good form. Katsande captained the Warriors in the last AFCON qualifier and his leadership qualities will be needed in the back to back ties against Swaziland.

Knowledge Musona
The “smiling assassin” is enjoying his best season in Europe and is among the top goal scorers in the Belgium Pro League. Musona has struck 11 goals this season just one behind the joint top scorers who have 12 goals.

Costa Nhamoinesu
Costa continues to be a regular for Czech Republic side Sparta Prague. His performances in the Europa League have even seen him being named in the Europa team of the week by a leading international website. His debut in Warriors colours against Guinea won the hearts of many and local fans will be looking forward to him donning the national team jersey.

Kuda Mahachi
He has always done a good job for Mzansi Golden Arrows. He is nimble footed and he has been creating goal scoring opportunities for his teammates. Mahachi is an undoubted match winner on his day. He possesses the pace and skill that could positively impact on the Warriors’ quest for a win.

Tendai Ndoro
Ndoro is just on top of his game. After being sidelined for some time, the Orlando Pirates forward seems to have rediscovered his form and last weekend he put up a man of the match performance when the Sea Robbers beat Kaizer Chiefs in a Absa Premiership Nedbank Cup match.

In the match Fire, as Ndoro is fondly known, scored a brace a development that has led many to feel Pasuwa needs to have a look at him.

Evans Rusike
Despite Maritzburg struggling one silver lining has been the form of former Hwange striker Evans Rusike. Rusike has been putting up good performances and will certainly have a number of clubs keen on his signature even if Maritzburg United do go down this season

Tendayi Darikwa
Reports suggest Darikwa has not closed the door on playing for the Warriors and its imperative that ZIFA continue to pursue him. The Burnley man received a call-up for the Guinea match but got it late after a ZIFA error -ZIFA sent initial call-up to Leeds United instead of Burnley-. Darikwa would be a massive addition to the squad.

Matthew Rusike
With Billiat and Musona on fire, Matthew Rusike gives Pasuwa another striking option. Rusike has settled well at his new Swedish side Helsingborg where he is scoring regularly and could add a different dimension altogether to the Warriors.

Marvellous Nakamba
After struggling with game time last season Marvelous Nakamba has been a revelation this season for Dutch side Vitesse where he is not only starting regularly but now scoring. With so many attacking options in the Warriors Nakamba’s intelligence and ability in the midfield could prove to be an asset. Pasuwa was expected to name his squad on Friday. Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe senior national team wants to use the giant National Sports Stadium for the upcoming crucial AFCON qualifier against Swaziland and have requested the Confederation of African Football to certify the venue in time for the match set for Easter Monday.

The National Sports Stadium has not been used for international matches since it was closed for renovations leaving Babourfields and Rufaro stadiums the only other options.

The Warriors’ last match in the qualifiers was a 1-1 draw against Guinea at Rufaro.

Pasuwa made the recommendations for the use of the National Sports Stadium prompting ZIFA to call CAF inspectors to come and re-inspect the facility.

The Warriors will travel to Swaziland for the first of the clashes on 25 March -Good Friday- and then play host to Sihlangu in Harare on Easter Monday.

This story came out in the print version of the paper, before Pasuwa announced the Warriors squad.