Zimbabwe name final squad

Khama Billiat

After braving a goalless draw in preparatory friendly match against Nigeria at the Stephen Keshi Memorial Stadium in Osaba on Saturday evening, Zimbabwe's Warriors finalized their 23 men 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations bound squad retaining a significant residue from the 2017 edition held in Gabon.

There are nine players retained from the Calisto Pasuwa coached side that campaigned at the last continental edition in Gabon but this time around the entire squad is drawn from talent plying their trade outside the country sounding a clear sign of intent.

Probably, Sunday Chidzambga preferred to bank on experience as the Southern Africa nation seeks to breach the group stage in their fourth edition but will have to carry the underdogs tag.

In an interview in Osaba before the team connected to Cairo on Sunday afternoon, captain Knowledge Musona reiterated that he believed the selection, which has a couple of new faces, was now capable of getting beyond the first round.

“We have a good team with good quality, and we are working hard to correct the mistakes from the last tournament. We have enough experience and our initial target is to pass out from the group stages for the first time.”

“Zimbabwe are the only underdog in the group, but that in itself should give is motivation to say we are the Ajax Amsterdam of the Nations Cup. We are going there to fight and give disappointment to other teams,” Knowledge Musona

Zimbabwe are in Group A

They start their campaign on the opening Match-day against hosts Egypt on June 21.

They will play Uganda and DRC in the coming days, and Musona, who is contracted to Belgian side Anderlecht but played part of last season on loan at Lokeren, says the team was targeting to pull an upset on the group favourites.

“We have the hosts and they are always going to be favourites. DR Congo have a strong team and they will know what to expect from us. Uganda are a very good team also.

“Zimbabwe are the only underdog in the group, but that in itself should give is motivation to say we are the Ajax Amsterdam of the Nations Cup. We are going there to fight and give disappointment to other teams,” he added.

Warriors Final Squad for AFCON

Goalkeepers

George Chigova (Polokwane City, South Africa), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs, South Africa), Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka, South Africa).

Defenders

Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos, Zambia), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids, Wales), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows, South Africa), Tendai Darikwa (Nottingham Forest, England) Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtics, South Africa)

Midfielders

Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge, South Africa), Ovidy Karuru (AmaZulu, South Africa), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Talent Chawapihwa (AmaZulu, South Africa), Knowledge Musona (Lokeren, Belgium), Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows, South Africa), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Horoya, Guinea), Thabani Kamusoko (Young Africans, Tanzania)

Strikers

Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang, China), Evans Rusike (SuperSport United, South Africa),, Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows, South), Tinotenda Philana Kadewere (Le Havre, France)