PREPARATIONS on both sides of the Limpopo are at an advanced stage as Zim and SA countries get ready for the U23, CAF Championship, first leg qualifier, this Sunday.
Despite widespread media speculation that about the availability of SA based Zim’s Mamelodi Sundowns, Kuda Mahachi who was the only foreign based player who joined others at training at Gwanzura on Tuesday.
This is the first time Mahachi will be playing for Zimbabwe in these qualifiers as attempts to call him up before have not been heeded because the matches fall outside Fifa calendar for international matches.
A major headache for coach Kallisto Pasuwa will be the injuries to a host of his home based players who featured in league matches at the weekend. These are Flame Lily leftback Farai Madhanaga who has a concussion while Dynamos goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva has a hip injury
Blessing Moyo has a hamstring problem. Also injure is FC Platinum’s Marshall and Harare City forward Tino Kadewera .
Meanwhile its all systems go for SA’s cU-23 coach Owen da Gama who has whittled down his squad to 18 players ahead of Sunday’s Olympic qualifier with Zimbabwe.
Mamelodi Sundowns pair Kwanda Mngonyama and Keagan Dolly, and Black Leopards attacker Siphelele Ntshangase are some of the recognised names at Da Gama’s disposal.
The game will take place at Rufaro Stadium in Harare at 15h00.
The SA will leave the country tomorrow with the return leg set for July 26.
The winner between the two sides joins hosts Senegal and six other African countries at the African Under-23 Championships in Darkar, Senegal in December which will serve as the qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics.
Goalkeepers: Tatenda Mukuruva, Donovan Benard, Criss Mverechena
Defenders: Ronald Pfumbidzai, Blessing Moyo, Teenage Hadebe, Nqobizitha Masuku, Lawrence Mhlanga, Raphael Kutinyu, Jimmy Kanono
Midfielders: Marshall Mudehwe, Gerald Takwara, Malvern Gaki, Wisdom Mutasa, Walter Musona, Kuda Mahachi ,Carlos Rusere
Strikers: Thomas Chideu, Knox Mutizwa, Mgcini Sibanda, Tino Kadewere, Pritchard Mpelele
Goalkeepers: Ricardo Goss, Jordi February.
Defenders: Kwanda Mngonyama, Tshepo Rikhotso, Thabo Makhele, Zitha Macheke, Gino Moeketsi, Tebogo Moerane, Siyabonga Zulu.
Midfielders: Abbubakar Mobara, Ayabulela Konqoba, Motjeka Madisha, Keagan Dolly, Maphosa Modiba.
Strikers: Simphiwe Kambule, Dumisani Zuma, Siphelele Ntshangase, Siphamandla Dlamini.