Zimbabwe captain Musona has finally arrived in the Liberian capital Monrovia yesterday after facing delays in flights at his Belgian base before the penultimate 2018 tournament of the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) of the Warriors. the hosts of Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex today.
OF DANIEL NHAKANISO
Anderlecht's 28-year-old striker, along with other European players from the Warriors' 18-player team, including Club Brugge midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and distributor Alec Mudimu, are expected to fly directly to Monrovia. bases.
While the other players arrived in the West African country on Friday, Musona was still notable for his absence on the field, leading to speculation that he could lose the match against the Lonely Stars.
Zifa's communications director Xolisani Gwesela, who is in Liberia with the Warriors, however, calmed the fears, revealing that the Anderlecht striker was expected to arrive later after facing delays on Belgian flights.
"His plane was delayed, but he is arriving this afternoon and will be available for the [today’s] game, "Gwesela told StandardSport yesterday.
Musona, who scored a memorable hat-trick at Harare last year, is expected to lead the Warriors' attack after missing the last encounter against DR Congo at home due to suspension.
He played a key role in the current qualifiers by scoring four goals for Zimbabwe despite narrowing his playing time at his Belgian club Anderlecht since moving from KV Oostende in May.
Musona is one of the two main players who are returning from suspension. The other is Mudimu, who is also poised to regain his place in the starting lineup after losing the Warriors 1-1 draw against DRC at home.
Zimbabwe also took back striker Tino Kadewere of France and Evans Rusike of SuperSport United while former captain Willard Katsande was recalled after retirement.
Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambga is not, however, accepting the qualification for Afcon next year despite needing only a point from his penultimate game against Liberia today.
Zimbabwe lead Group G in the play-offs with eight points, three ahead of second-placed Congo, who will face off against neighboring Congo in a kick-off.
A draw for Chidzambga and his men against Liberia today will be enough for them to seal their place in the Afcon finals in Cameroon next year with a game to spare.
Chidzambga, however, warned his players to expect another side of the Liberia side who beat 3-0 at home last year in the opening match of the play-offs after calling some of their foreign players to strengthen the team.
Although Liberia are in last place with four points, they still have a chance to fight in the penultimate round of qualifying. Indeed, Liberia are undefeated at home in the current campaign after drawing with the Democratic Republic of Congo in a 1-1 draw and beating Congo-Brazzaville 2-1 last month.
"We believe that they have changed teams, we have also heard that they have attracted most of their foreign players, we also have our own foreign players and we have to combine them in every aspect of the game.While playing as we did in the last two games against the DRC , I have no doubt that we will get the result for the nation, "Chidzambga said.
The 66-year-old also expressed satisfaction with his players' desire to do the job.
"The boys are looking forward to this match, the feeling inside the field is that they are ready and will fight from the first minute until the final whistle. We'll get the point or points we need but as you know in football, anything can happen and we're just hoping for the best, "he said.
Liberia coach Thomas Kojo will have to be without striker Sam Johnson, who was left out due to injury.
However, Kojo will be relieved that midfielder Mohammed Sangare, 19, of Newcastle United, is available to make his international debut.
The match between Zimbabwe and Liberia starts at 6 pm (Zimbabwe time) and will be broadcast live on Supersport 9.