BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
TINO Kadewere is doubtful for the Warriors’ second 2022 Fifa World Cup Group G qualifier against Ethiopia in Bahir Dar on Tuesday after limping off with an injury during the goalless draw against South Africa at the National Sports Stadium on Friday.
The 25-year-old France-based star striker was hauled off the pitch after 58 minutes in the underwhelming home draw against South Africa because of injury.
Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic confirmed after the match that the Olympique Lyon striker could possibly miss the away match against Ethiopia in another blow to his already depleted team.
“It looks like Tino will not play, that’s for sure and some players today didn’t show me what they needed to show me, what I expected from them and that means we have to make a few changes for sure,’’ Loga told journalists after the South Africa game.
“Against Ethiopia one of the options will be to push Khama and Musona at the front and then we have to put some fresh blood on the wings which is going to give us some energy. We are also going to try to be stable at the back.
“It will be difficult for Musona like he played today (Friday) to play in the same position (against Ethiopia) so we are going to put him somewhere he can run a bit less and maybe he can give a bit more,” said the Croat.
Team manager Wellington Mpandare said the extent of Kadewere’s injury was not known by yesterday afternoon as they expected his MIR scan results by the end of day.
Kadewere has not seen a lot of action for his French club Olympique Lyon this season having only featured for just 24 minutes across two matches, in the club’s first four league games.
The injury to Kadewere means the beleaguered Logarusic is set to make some changes to the team to face Ethiopia despite his limited options due to the absence of several key players due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Logarusic is facing another strong test in his bid to improve his pathetic record as national team coach as the Warriors are facing a tough task against Ethiopia, who boast of an impressive home record at the Bahir Dar Stadium.
The latest draw against neighbours South Africa did not help his Warriors record which now reads one win in 13 matches including four draws and seven defeats.
And now Loga has to rescue his Warriors job in Ethiopia where the hosts have not lost a competitive match since September 2019 after 1-0 defeat to Rwanda in the CHAN qualifiers.
With Kadewere doubtful, Loga has no choice, but to make some changes.
Loga, who admitted failing to manage the player by throwing him into the fray from the onset, is looking to risk the player again in Ethiopia.
“Today (Friday) he was just begging (saying) I want to play. I came here to play. He wanted to play and you saw that he was trying. It’s very hard to tell him, Tino, you’re gonna be on the bench. Can you imagine me putting Tino on the bench? He travelled and he wants to play,” Loga said .
“I was thinking that he could play until halftime and then put another player and now injury came and now we have to see. It means in Ethiopia, Tino can play 15 to 20 minutes and we will see how it goes.
“We have five more games and everything is in our hands. If we want to be successful it means we have to pick up points away from home. It could be in South Africa, Ghana or Ethiopia but let’s go step by step.”
The draw against South Africa puts Zimbabwe in third place in Group G, tied on points with South Africa in second while Ethiopia anchor the standings after the narrow 1-0 loss in Ghana.
South Africa host Ghana on Tuesday.