Striker Musona set to lead Zimbabwe’s attack in Cosafa Cup
Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Knowledge Musona could be headed back to SA to spearhead a formidable Zimbabwe squad at the Cosafa Cup in Polokwane from May 27 to June 9.
Zimbabwe coach Sunday Chidzambwa wants the 27-year-old to lead the side of mostly overseas-based players in preparation for the resumption of the African Nations Cup qualifiers in September.
The Cosafa Cup has taken on extra significance for teams in 2018 given the dearth of opportunities to play international football with the Fifa World Cup in Russia taking centre-stage.
"We are going to meet the technical department on Tuesday to discuss the squad call-ups and when we can go into camp‚" Zimbabwe team manager Wellington Mpandare said.
"Obviously Knowledge being our captain is going to be part of this squad and unless something happens‚ he will lead the team in Limpopo. He has already confirmed his availability. The bulk of the squad will be made up of foreign-based players.
"We are looking at using the Cosafa Cup games as an opportunity for our team to gel into the unit that we want it to be by the time we resume our [African Nations Cup] qualifiers in September," he said.
Musona is in his fourth season at Belgian side KV Oostende and has scored eight goals in 24 starts. His last appearance for Zimbabwe was in June 2017, when he netted a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Liberia.
Defending champions Zimbabwe will enter the Cosafa Cup at the quarterfinal stage when they play the winner of the first round Group B on June 3 at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium. That pool includes Angola‚ Botswana‚ Mauritius and Malawi.
SA coach Stuart Baxter has opted to select a squad made up mostly of young overseas-based players‚ as well as those that have shown form in the Premier Soccer League this season.
He will announce his final 20 players by May 20 as SA prepare to enter the competition at the quarterfinal stage against the winner of Group A on June 2. SA and Zimbabwe could meet in the semis if they advance past their first hurdles.