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Football

Zimbabwe braced for crucial World Cup Qualifiers encounters

HARARE

Zimbabwe’s dream of competing at a FIFA World Cup finals continues, with the 2026 edition African qualifiers set to resume next week.

The Warriors face Lesotho on Friday, 07 June in Johannesburg, before taking on South Africa on Tuesday, 11 June in Bloemfontein.

With five TotalEnergies CAF AFCON appearances, the Warriors are yet to compete at the global showpiece which has now been expanded to 48 nations, with nine places guaranteed for Africa plus a play-off position.

Drawn in a tough Group C that also consists of African giants Nigeria, surprise group leaders Rwanda and Benin, the Zimbabweans have had a decent start to their campaign with a goalless draw against Rwanda and holding the Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw.

With two important fixtures on the cards for the Warriors next week, caretaker coach, Jairos Tapera has named a strong squad of 23 which is headlined by a number of European based players such as Marshal Munetsi, Tawanda Chiwera, Marvelous Nakamba, Brendan Galloway and 20-year-old left back, Shane Maroodza.

Zimbabwe 23-Man squad:

 Goalkeepers: Godfrey Chitsumba (Manica Diamonds), Bernard Donovan (Chicken Inn), Martin Mapisa (Dynamos)

Defenders: Andrew Mbeba (Highlanders), Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle, England), Munashe Garananga (KV Mechelen, Belgium), Teenage Hadebe (Konyaspor, Turkey), Devine Lunga (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Shane Maroodza (Huddersfield Town, England), Godknows Murwira (CAPS United), Gerald Takwara (Ohod, Saudi Arabia)

Midfielders: Tawanda Maswanhise (Leicester City, England), Daniel Msendami (Jwaneng Galaxy, Botswana), Marshall Munetsi (Stade Reims, France), Joey Phuthi (Sheffield Wednesday, England), Andy Rinomhota (Rotherham United, England), Tivonge Rushesha (Reading, England), Jordan Zemura (Udinese, Italy)

Strikers: Tawanda Chirewa (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England), Tinotenda Kadewere (Nantes, France), Tymon Machope (Simba Bhora), Douglas Mapfumo (Polokwane City, South Africa), Walter Musona (Simba Bhora).

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