WARRIORS’ chief striker, Knowledge Musona has been rewarded for his consistency and commitment to the national team by being named captain and will lead the squad in the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The Belgian-based forward takes over from Willard Katsande, who was left out of the squad in contentious circumstances.
This was revealed by Warriors team manager, Wellington Mupandare, who said Musona will be deputised by defender, Partson Jaure.
“If you look at Musona, he is experienced and was part of the squad that (interim coach, Norman) Mapeza created when he was appointed coach in 2010.
Other members include Ovidy Karuru and Khama Billiat, but the coach settled for Musona as the leader of the group. He will be deputised by Partson Jaure,” Mupandare said.
Musona, one of the few seniors left in the team, could have been rewarded for his commitment and consistency for the Warriors since he made his debut in 2010.
Incidentally, his debut came against Liberia in Monrovia, Liberia on September 5, 2010, where he scored, as Zimbabwe drew 1-1.
Since then, he has become a key member of the team.
Musona has now scored nine goals in African Cup of Nations campaigns, and once in the finals, against Tunisia at the 2017 Gabon edition, where he suffered an injury just 10 minutes into the opening Group B match against Algeria.
He has scored a total of 16 goals for the Warriors, which include, two in World Cup qualifiers, with the other four coming in friendly matches.
Musona will be looking to emulate his predecessor Katsande, who led the Warriors to the 2017 African Cup of Nations finals.
The Warriors, under Mapeza, get the ball rolling with what appears to be a winnable home clash against Liberia at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Zimbabwe will have to top Group G, which also has the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville, to qualify for only their fourth appearance at the continent’s biggest football showpiece.
They can also make it to the finals, to be hosted by Cameroon, if they finish as one of the three best runners up.
Musona’s journey starts on Sunday when the Warriors will be hoping to utilise home advantage and collect maximum points against what, on paper, appears the weakest team in the group.
The home side will start as favourites to win the match, having dominated their opponents in their only two previous meetings — in the 2010 Afcon qualifiers — winning 3-0 in Harare, and forcing a 1-1 draw away in Monrovia.