BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
SOUTH AFRICA-BASED striker Knox Mutizwa is set to bounce back to lead the Warriors attack at the regional Cosafa tournament scheduled for early next month, NewsDay Sport has heard.
The tournament kicks off on July 2.
While the Warriors squad will be largely dominated by home-based players that participated at the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament in January, it has emerged coach Zdravko Logarušić, who is working with the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers this September in mind, wants to give Mutizwa an opportunity to prove himself.
The Golden Arrows striker was ruled out of the last two qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia due to injury.
However, he has since recovered and has been heavily involved in his team’s top-four finish.
Logarušić is also set include Super Sport United striker Evans Rusike and AmaZulu midfielder Butholezwe Ncube.
The home-based players that made the squad for the Chan tournament are set to form the backbone of the team, with Dynamos midfielder Shadreck Nyahwa and Caps United’s Carlos Mavhurume set to make the squad.
Dynamos captain Partson Jaure, Chicken Inn left-back Ian Nekati, Highlanders defender Peter Muduhwa are some of the home-based players set to be part of the cast.
National teams’ manager Wellington Mupandare yesterday said while the coaches would have wanted to broaden the scope and call up some Europe-based players, including rising striker Tawanda Masvanhise who plays for English Premier League side Leicester City, it was difficult as the Cosafa tournament was not recognised on the Fifa calendar.
“It is difficult to have especially the Europe-based players for the Cosafa tournament because it is outside the Fifa calendar for international matches. So the focus is on the fringe players and the home-based players who took part at the Chan tournament,” he said.
Masvanhise, who has been playing for the Leicester City development side, is now part of the senior team.
He was an unused substitute in their 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford at the tail end of the season.
He was also an unused substitute in their victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup.
With the regional tournament coming at a time when most leagues in Europe and several other continents will be on off-season break, expectations were that Logarušić would take advantage and include regulars for the tournament ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in September.
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