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Mhofu backs Warriors for strong comeback

Sports Reporter

SOCCER legend Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa believes the senior national soccer team will come back stronger on the international scene after ending an 18-month Fifa ban.

Mhofu took charge of a Warriors select for a challenge match against Namibia as part of activities to mark the inauguration of President Mnangagwa at the National Sports Stadium on Monday.

Zimbabwe won the match 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 deadlock in regulation time.

The side, which was captained by Dynamos’ Frank Mukarati, was picked from across the 18 Premier Soccer League teams.

They only met for one day, after featuring for their teams in the weekend games, but they still played their hearts out in a 5-4 penalty shootout victory.

Bulawayo Chiefs forward Mthokozisi Msebe and Farai Banda of Black Rhinos scored in the match as the Namibians twice came from behind to force a shootout.

Zimbabwe, who had last played international football at the AFCON finals in Cameroon last year, are set to return to competitive football action in the CHAN qualifiers, whose draw and fixtures are expected to be made clearer by CAF after the executive committee meeting tomorrow.

The CHAN tournament is exclusive to players who play in the domestic league.

Mhofu, who was assisted by Lizwe Sweswe, with Tembo Chuma the goalkeepers’ coach, painted a positive picture of the talent available for Zimbabwe.

“We need to throw the net very wide. I believe there are very good players around the country and I also feel we need to dig in the first divisions for more players,” he said.

He believes the challenge match gave the next Warriors coach a glimpse of what could be available to them. ZIFA have since advertised the Warriors post and Chidzambwa could not confirm whether he had applied for the job.

“I think the youngsters did well considering that we never trained. We only grouped in a day and I think they a put up a good show,” said Chidzambwa.

“In the case of the CHAN tournament we need to get organised, we need to thoroughly look at these players in all areas and in all the regions and I think we will come up with a very good side.

“I think most of them will do very well since they are quite young. Most of these youngsters are around 20-22 years old and I think they are going to do well, adding to those who we could not select for now.”