Uganda Cranes’ Africa Cup of Nations Group A opponents Zimbabwe have named a 23 man squad ahead of the tourney that kickoff in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July.
Pool A that also has Egypt and DR Congo, will see Uganda Cranes face Zimbabwe Warriors on June 26 at Cairo International Stadium.
The Warriors, coached by former player Sunday Chidzambwa selected his final squad for the 2019 Continental showpiece.
Power Dynamos’ Jimmy Dzingai is the only locally based player to make the team that is littered with Players in South Africa’s PSL.
Six players on the final squad vie their trade outside Africa – Defenders Tendai Darikwa (Nottingham Forest – England) and Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids – Wales), midfielder Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge – Belgium) and forwards Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht – Belgium), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang – China) and Yinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre – France).
Danny Phiri who turns out for Golden Arrows is the most capped on the team with 38 games in Zimbabwe colours. Billiat and Musona have 34 games under their belts.
The squad is similar to that won Zimbabwe an AFCON ticket with the only new additionals – goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, midfielder Thabani Kamusoko and China-based Nyasha Mushekwi.
Zimbabwe, known by many Ugandans as a poverty stricken country previously led by Robert Mugabe, will be playing at AFCON for the fourth time after previous appearances in 2004, 2006 and 2017.
Zimbabwe ended their preps with a goalless draw against West African Giants Nigeria but there are reports that they will face Tanzania in their last friendly.
Zimbabwe – The Brief
Like every Ugandan will agree with me, this is a side we feel that we must beat – And its vice versa for Zimbabwe as well.
Khama Biliat (Kaiser Chiefs) is well known to most Ugandans but Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht) who has scored 22 goals in 34 appearances, is their man to watch.
Head coach – Sunday Chidzambwa
Captain – Knowledge Musona
FIFA Rank – 110
*Botswana 0–7 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
(Gaborone, Botswana; 26 August 1990)
*South Africa 7–0 Rhodesia Rhodesia
(South Africa; 9 April 1977)
AFCON Appearances – 3 (first in 2004)
*Group stage, 2004, 2006, and 2017
Head to Head: Uganda has 2 wins, drawn 7 and lost 5 against the Warriors.
Goalkeepers : George Chigova (Polokwane City), Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka) and Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs).
Defenders : Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Tendai Darikwa (Nottingham Forest), Jimmy Dzingai (Power Dynamos) and Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids).
Midfielders: Talent Chawapihwa (Amazulu), Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows), Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Azam), Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Orlando Pirates) and Thabani Kamusoko (Young Africans).
Strikers: Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows) and Evans Rusike (SuperSport United).