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By Mugove Chigada / Published on Wednesday, 28 Dec 2016 17:45 PM / No Comments / 888 views

28 December 2016

File Photo: Warriors squad
File Photo: Warriors squad

THE Warriors benefitted more in the goalless draw against Cote d’lvoire in Abidjan on Monday.

While Cote d’lvoire are certain to field a whole team made up of high profile foreign-based players at the big stage instead of the squad that played the Warriors, Kalisto Pasuwa had a chance to sort out the defence he will use at the 2017 AFCON finals in Gabon.

Judging from how he has been using the players throughout the qualification campaign until Monday, the defence that he used was almost complete.

Tatenda Mukuruva and Donovan Bernard are expected to be the two main goalkeepers.

It is expected that Hardlife Zvirekwi, who captained the team in Abidjan, could retain the right back position in the starting XI.

Elisha Muroiwa, Lawrence Mhlanga and Teenage Hadebe all had a part to play on Monday. And the only other fourth option for central defence is Sparta Prague defender Costa Nhamoinesu. Either Onismor Bhasera or Bruce Kangwa could complete the back four.

Muroiwa, who made his comeback by replacing Mhlanga from the bench, said everyone gave 100 percent.

“Personally I think we managed to match them. They did not create meaningful chances for the better part of the game. The game was very physical and we had to be very aggressive,” said Muroiwa.

Asked about the understanding between the defenders, he said: “I think we have a very good understanding of each other and it applies to all the defence players.”

What will be completely different for Pasuwa’s team will be the midfielders and attacking players. There will be at least six new faces with only Tino Kadewere standing an outside chance of fighting for a starting place.

The positive thing for Pasuwa will be that some of the players that played in Cote d’lvoire will be on the bench and some will get game time as the tournament progress.

On Thursday, the local-based players are set to join the foreign-based players that are already in camp.

In Gabon, Zimbabwe are in group B made up of Algeria, Tunisia and Senegal.

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