By Francis Nyamutsamba
After mesmerizing his opponents by putting up a sterling performance in his debut Afcon qualifying encounter in Warriorâ€™s colours, one could not help but draw similiarities between former Warriors skipper, Peter Ndlovu and emerging Kaiser Chiefs hitman, Knowledge Musona.
Playing for the first time in the jungles of West Africa under difficult humid conditions, Musona who was excellent all afternoon, left the small band of Warriorâ€™s fans that travelled aboard a chartered flight to Liberia drawing similiarities between the emerging star with arguably the greatest Warriors player of all time Peter Ndlovu.
The 20-year old who scooped the Rookie of The Year Award during his first season with South African giants, Kaiser Chiefs, showed just why the usually very loud-for-nothing South African media has dubbed him a young gem, when he scored his first goal for the Warriors in an Afcon qualifying campaign, in Zimbabweâ€™s 1-1 draw with the Lone Stars on the 5th of September.
To think Musona was part of the Warriors team that had to endure inhuman treatment at a so-called hotel that had no electricity or water is incredible, as Musona showed no signs of being affected by unfamiliar humid conditions in the West African country.
Mapeza, whose guts of steel told him to drop Blackburn forward Benjani Mwaruwari, who was without a club at the time the Zimbabwean team was selected, eventually paid dividends with Zimbabweâ€™s golden boy, Knowledge Musona, putting up a dazzling show in which he exhibited sheer pace, skill, ball control and finishing – most attributes any coach would yearn for.
The exciting Musona, who needs to polish up on his finishing to become a greater player, is in the midst of a Warriors redemption plot, after a disastrous 2010 qualifying campaign which saw Zimbabwe fail to qualify for both the 2010 African Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers hosted by Angola and South Africa in an era most fans would want to quickly forget.
It is the hope of many that Musona will maintain a cool head and walks in the same path as Peter Ndlovu who made a mark in one of the toughest European leagues during his days at Coventry City.
The 20-year old, together with his Warriors team mates who should be commended for a job well done in their 1-1 draw with Liberia on Sunday, carries the hopes of a nation whose favourite football team – â€œthe Warriorsâ€ had been transformed into a filthy hunting ground for greedy money mongers.