HARARE – Stadium-less Zimbabwe are forced to host Lesotho in South Africa this Friday as World Cup qualifiers return this week, but captain Marshall Munetsi is finding some kind of solace in the choice of venue for the clash.

The Group C tie will be staged at Soweto’s Orlando Stadium, home to Munetsi during his days with South African club giants Orlando Pirates.

The 27-year-old stand-in Warriors skipper made nearly 30 appearances for Pirates between 2017 and 2019 before he was signed by French Ligue 1 side Reims, his current club.

“The majority of our (Zimbabwean) people in South Africa, I urge them to come,” Munetsi told Zifa Media in Johannesburg Monday. “Orlando is also my home, so I know that a lot of fans will be making their way there.”

Munetsi remarked that resumption of World Cup qualifiers at the beginning of the European off-season suits the overseas-based players well.

“I think it’s the best time to be able to play these games because we’ve had 10 days to recover, rest, and be able to prepare (for the qualifiers).”

The former Buccaneers fringe player added that the Warriors will approach improving Lesotho with huge respect, given how the small kingdom nation started its mission to qualify for the 2026 World Cup with an impressive 1-1 draw away to African power Nigeria last November.

Likuena (crocodiles; Lesotho’s nickname) then grinded out another draw with Benin in Durban in the same month.

“It’s tough, as you saw Lesotho drawing with Nigeria last year,” commented Munetsi. “But for us, every game is a new challenge. They are no pushovers. They have a couple of guys that play in the South African league, and we know that they are very competitive.”

Zimbabwe will complete the latest double-head qualification phase with a blockbuster clash against rivals South Africa in Bloemfontein four days later.


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