Cosafa Cup: South Africa-based Arubi headlines Zimbabwe squad

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Zimbabwe FA.

South African-based goalkeeper Washington Arubi has been named in a strong 25-man Zimbabwe squad for the 2021 Cosafa Cup.

The veteran stopper, who recently helped Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (renamed Marumo Gallants) to the Nedbank Cup title this past season, headlines the squad picked by coach Zdravko Logarusic ahead of the tournament set for July 6 to 18 at Nelson Mandela Bay.

Other players making the squad and ply their trade in South Africa include strikers Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows) and Evans Rusike (Unattached), while midfielder Jonah Fabisch, who plays for German second-tier side Hamburg, has also been selected.

Ovidy Karuru, who scored six goals in the 2017 Cosafa Cup, the most ever in a single tournament, will get to add to his tally while Simba SC striker Perfect Chikwende has also earned a call-up despite warming the bench at the Tanzanian giants.

In an earlier interview after the draw was made, Logarusic said he will use some of the players who did not feature in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches.

“We are going to use players which we didn’t see much during the Afcon qualification,” Logarusic told Zimbabwe FA's social media pages.

“We will give chances to some players which are showing potential to become future stars and those who didn’t get many minutes during qualification for Afcon. It’s their chance to prove themselves.

“We are not going with the strongest squad; we didn’t call 14 or 15 players top players who are regulars for the national team. We are not talking about whether we win or not.

“We are using this tournament to try to make our squad stronger for World Cup qualification and Afcon tournament.”

Six-time winners Zimbabwe are pooled in Group C alongside Senegal, Mozambique, and Namibia and they will open their campaign for the title with a clash against Mozambique on July 8.

Zimbabwe squad

Goalkeepers: Washington Arubi (Marumo Gallants), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars), and Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF).

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Defenders: MacClive Phiri (Sekhukhune United), Kelvin Moyo (Nkana FC), Carlos Mavhurume (CAPS United), Andrew Mbeba (Highlanders), Lennox Muchero (Yadah Stars), Godknows Murwira (Dynamos), Qadr Amini (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Malvin Mkolo (Bulawayo Chiefs) and Jimmy Dzingai (Nkana FC).

Midfielders: Blessing Sarupinda (CAPS United), Perfect Chikwende (Simba SC), Tatenda Tavengwa (Harare City), Shadreck Nyahwa (Dynamos), Brian Banda (FC Platinum), King Nadolo (Dynamos), Nyasha Dube (Little Rock RangerJonah Fabisch (Hamburger SV), Ovidy Karuru (Black Leopards) and Richard Hachiro (CAPS United),

Strikers: Farau Matare (Bulawayo Chiefs), Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows), and Evans Rusike (Unattached).