Norman Mapeza’s charges labored to a goalless draw against Sudan in a friendly international match played on Sunday afternoon in Yaounde.
Mapeza who opted to give Never Tigere his first start with the Warriors, also threw in Iceland based midfielder Kundai Benyu who last featured for the senior national team in 2017 against Lesotho and Namibia.
The 24-year-old midfielder combined well in the first half- controlling the middle of the park along side Kelvin Madzongwe and Never Tigere, but his fitness is still a concern as he was later substituted in the second half for veteran Thabani Kamusoko.
The Warriors were lackluster – created a lot of chances but failed to convert them with Prince Dube, Takudzwa Chimwemwe and Onisimor Bhasera coming close.
Coach Norman Mapeza only made three changes as Kuda Mahachi was forced out in the first half with an injury and was replaced by veteran defender Onismor Bhasera.
Petros Mhari who was not troubled much in the first half, also limped off the field and was replaced by Talbert Shumba in goals.
“The two injured players will be assessed tomorrow (today), but it looks like nothing more serious,” confirmed Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare after the game.
Zambia based Takudzwa Chimwemwe was outstanding at the right-back as he rarely put a foot wrong, making some forward runs and almost find the back of the net, but his shot went wide.
Prince Dube also came close to scoring in the 80th minutes, but was brought down in the box and his appeal for a penalty, was not successful as the referee saw otherwise.
Mapeza was happy with the performance despite the team still struggling to find goals.
“I think the guys played very well, especially in the first half. We had some very clear cut chances, unfortunately maybe the sharpness is not yet there. But I’m more than pleased with the performance, ” said Mapeza
“The organisation at the back, the midfield where I think we need to work more and then going forward we had so many opportunities today. There was a lot of creativity especially in the first half. Overally I’m happy with the performance of the boys, ” assessed Mapeza
The Warriors are still looking to find another sparing match before they depart Yaounde for their base in Bafoussam.
They will kick-start their campaign against Senegal on the 10th of January at Kouekong stadium.
Warriors first XI
Petros Mhari (Shumba), Takudzwa Chimwemwe, Bruce Kangwa, Teenage Hadebe, Gerald Takwara, Kelvin Madzongwe, Kundai Benyu (Kamusoko), Never Tigere, Kuda Mahachi(Bhasera) Ishmael Wadi, Prince Dube.
Talbert Shumba, Martin Mapisa, Godknows Murwira, Onisimor Bhasera, Thabani Kamusoko, Alec Mudimu, Peter Muduhwa.