Warriors goalkeeping department: Has Mapisa earned a shot?
Since AFCON 2019, four different goalkeepers have kept goal for the Warriors.
Edmore ‘ZiKeeper’ Sibanda, George Chigova, Elvis Chipezeze and Talbert Shumba have all some point been in goal for Zimbabwe.
Of the quartet, Baroka’s Chipezeze has regularly been in goal since the continental showpiece in Egypt, but his injury in Algiers last November resulted in Shumba being thrown into the fray.
The Zambia-based shot stopper was drafted into the Warriors fold ahead the Algeria double header because United States-based Tatenda Mkuruva could not travel to Zimbabwe due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Another player many felt also deserved a chance against the Desert Foxes is Spain-based Martin Mapisa.
The initial 23 member Warriors squad, which leaked but was disowned by ZIFA days later, had the name of the Aces Youth Academy graduate, who back then was a cover up goalkeeper for Segunda B side Zamora CF.
Mapisa has upgraded though, he became the first ever local player to feature in Spanish football’s oldest tournament, the Copa delRey, when his team was knocked out by Unai Emrey’s Villarreal.
The 22-year-old would go on to make his league debut for Zamora and has kept three clean sheets in the last four top-flight games.
He has only conceded one goal since making his league debut for the team, in the 1-1 draw with Racing Ferol on the 31st of January.
It will be interesting to see if Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic will go for the experienced duo of Chipezeze and Shumba or usher-in the young pair of Mkuruva and Mapisa, during the national team’s AFCON qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia, slated for next month.
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