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Available for selection ... Kuda Mahachi.

10/06/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter
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ZIMBABWE have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign against the Flames of Malawi in Blantyre on Saturday after Sweden-based Nyasha Mushekwi was ruled out of the tie owing to injury.

The Zimbabwe hitman, on loan to Swedish club Djurgardens from South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, has scored an astonishing 10 goals in 11 starts - statistics which have caught Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa's eye.

However, Pasuwa revealed on Wednesday after the team's morning training session that Mushekwi had told him he was no longer able to come after he pulled a muscle.

Mathew Rusike, who plays his club football with Kaizer Chiefs, also failed to train with the rest of the team and is a major doubt for the trip to Blantyre.

"We have all the players we called up except Nyasha Mushekwi and Mathew Rusike,” said Pasuwa after the team's morning training session at Rufaro on Wednesday.

“Nyasha phoned me to say he had pulled a muscle and was no longer able to make it. But Rusike arrived in the country and I had spoken to him as well but I don't know where he is.”

Willard Katsande who plays for Kaizer Chiefs however expressed confidence they would get a positive result in against the Flames.

"We know Malawi will be at home and have the advantage of home support so we need to be cautious,” said Katsande.

“We need to avoid an open game; be defensive and try to unsettle them. We didn’t have much training time together but we have to adapt like professionals and come from Malawi with a good result.

“I think we are in great shape, I have been training on my own to keep in shape because we knew about this game.”

Pasuwa however, has, on paper, a strong squad that can pull out a good result against the Flames notwithstanding the challenges they are facing in the build up to the match.

With players like Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat, Marvellous Nakamba, Kuda Mahachi, Cuthbert Malajila, Pasuwa has, perhaps, the deadliest attack he has been able to assemble.

Malawi, though, have been preparing for this match for nearly a month and, on Monday, played against Egypt in an international friendly which ended in a 2-1 losing cause for the Flames.

Warriors Squad: Bernard Donovan, Tatenda Mukuruva, Blessing Moyo, Patson Jaure, Eric Chipeta, Teenage Hadebe, Justin Jangano, Ronald Pfumbidzai, Danny Phiri, Willard Katsande, Gerald Takwara, Wisdom Mutasa, Khama Billiat, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Marvelous Nakamba, Knowledge Musona, Cuthbert Malajila


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