Mapeza goes for broke against mighty Ghana

HARARE - Warriors coach Norman Mapeza is a football realist. He is an honest operator always ready to lead his troops from his position of strength and is arrogant for it too.
Hope Chizuzu, Sports Reporter 

HARARE – Warriors coach Norman Mapeza is a football realist. He is an honest operator always ready to lead his troops from his position of strength and is arrogant for it too. 

He is intelligent and a supra purist so much that he has set his side to deny opposition both territory and possession in a bid to win this Qatar 2022 qualifier at Cape Coast stadium at 1800hrs today. 

The Page can reveal that he is going for broke with an expansive 3-5-2 formation employing the pace and poise of Jordan Zemura and Perfect Chikwende to overload Ghana while creating space for Kelvin Madzongwe to pivot in midfield buying long term insurance at a premium. 

The tactic then frees the super box to box engine of Marvelous Nakamba, who if he improvises his forays in the enemy zone, Thabani Kamusoko can close any wide gaps from anything Ghana can throw at them at the point of contact as they bid to move the backline from their positions of assurance and comfort. Stockpiling of arms in peace times. 

The plan, so clearly fashioned to allow the duo of Knowledge Musona and Knox Mutizwa to suffocate the Ghana defence with constant presence. Mapeza wants both the territory and possession. And with Zemura and Chikwende offering threat wide enlarging the pitch to create panic in opposition defence. 

“If we do not lose the ball, we do not lose any match,” Mapeza explained.

The defensive barrier of Tendai Darikwa, Onesimor Bhasera and Marshal Munetsi gives the team the balance and peace required under pressure The trio is calm under pressure and control and can play the ball, often moving the defensive lines further upfield, making the pitch smaller while fortifying the channels. That is why Mapeza has employed Kamusoko as an attacking link whose range of passing and powerful shots is a manipulative improvisation required at this level, more so, playing away from familiar territory. 

“We are praying that this works for us because we have employed the best possible tactic with the available soldiers. Let us see how it works but we are happy with this,” Mapeza added. 

The pace of Zemura, in good form at club level and Chikwende’s industry and panache gives Zimbabwe the edge in as far as moving the ball from the defensive third into the maritime space, where the battle will be intense and costly. 

Therein, Mapeza has put in probably the best player in that role at home, Madzongwe, whose discipline and temperament in the kitchen has been a master key in most battles. 

Crucially, Madzongwe has the intelligence to play it simple, the wisdom to mix it dirty when required. But he retains the dependability to defuse tight situations and is sure going to sell some lemons to Thomas Partey and co. 

In goals, Mapeza has gone with Washington Arubi, whose experience and ball distribution picks him out with no fuss. Musona has been as sure as the road to the loo…you never miss the door. His slow return to form and danger is happening at the right time as his pollination with Mutizwa can easily start a brawl in a church choir. All is set.

Munetsi sealed his pantry door when Messi, the GOAT tried and failed to beg for passage. Ghana will need the janitor referee permission to knock him off guard. 

Bhasera and Darikwa have toiled enough in the channels of defence to know enough of the strikers route to money, but then Sekuru Gudo (Arubi) is any barrister’s choice for keeping the keys to the bar at the in laws funeral. 

It matters little that the Zifa advance team failed to plan well for the team. That they could not secure training pitches for the boys is only relevant when obituaries are written….but for now every player except Khama Billiat are ready for battle. 

Even The Page is not worrying about the Machana $2million defamation case….hahahahahaha.

Go Warriors Go! 

Zimbabwe XI vs Ghana: 

Washington Arubi, Marshall Munetsi, Tendayi Darikwa, Onismor Bhasera, Jordan Zemura, Perfect Chikwende, Knowledge Madzongwe, Marvellous Nakamba, Thabani Kamusoko, Knowledge Musona (c) , Knox Mutizwa 

  • Hope Chizuzu is an investigative journalist based in Harare. He can be contacted on Twitter @Hchizuzu or WhatsApp +263715001628
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