Mighty Warriors roll on

MIGHTY WARRIORS2Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
Zimbabwe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (1) 1
Tanzania . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

(Zimbabwe win 3-2 on aggregate)

MIGHTY Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi says he is happy his charges managed to progress to the final qualification round of the African Women’s Cup of Nations despite being held to a draw by Tanzania at Rufaro yesterday.

Zimbabwe went into the match carrying a 2-1 lead from the first leg and a 1-1 draw was enough to see them through to the next stage. They will now meet their regional rivals Zambia next month.

And ZIFA president, Philip Chiyangwa, who attended yesterday’s match at Rufaro, promised the Mighty Warriors that they will get all the money from the gate takings for their efforts.

Zimbabwe got their goal from Daisy Kaitano in the 11th minute. Kaitano scored from a close-range from a rebound after Mavis Chirandu’s effort hit the near post.

Chirandu had met a cross from Emmaculate Msipa, who was having a good day in office, on the right flank.

The Mighty Warriors had to come from behind after Tanzania took the lead just four minutes into the game when Donisia Daniel converted a penalty.

Mlauzi said it was a tough match and admitted that his side did not play to their level best.

“It was quite a difficult match. We expected this and we knew going into this match that it was going to be difficult but at the end of the day we played way below par.

“We were not cohesive as we would have wanted to be. Our girls perhaps was playing against a huge shoulder of expectations, at the end of the day, it builds on muscle tension and you don’t play to your level best.

“But the same girls played a fantastic game away from home. So again it was that shoulder of expectation that comes when playing at home. But other than that we dug deep and we managed to get the result we wanted,” said Mlauzi.

Tanzania drew first blood through a penalty from a defensive blunder by the Mighty Warriors rearguard when Lynett Mutokuto failed to clear a back pass from Kaitano inside the box and the ball was intercepted by Tanzania striker Mwanahamis Omar before Mutokuto handled the ball.

Mlauzi said their away win came in handy but would have wanted his charges to do better as the Mighty Warriors play was not up to scratch yesterday and began their game on a slow pace.

“Of course it (winning away from home in the first leg) played a part but at the end of the day we wanted to play better than what we did. Look we are preparing for the Olympics, we expect a lot better from our girls. So we want to say we will go back to the drawing board and work on the mindset.

“I think at the end of the day it was a question of the mindset more than a question of the tactics because away from home the girls were able to implement the same tactics brilliantly,” said Mlauzi.

Mlauzi said they are looking forward to their next tie against Zambia and added that they know the threat they pose in their quest for success.

His counterpart, Nasra Juma, was pleased with her team’s performance although they were eliminated from the qualifiers.

“My girls are doing their best. The football played today was very standard for the level of African Championship.

“The only problem is that we lost our home match so now the draw is going to see Zimbabwe going for the next round of the African qualifiers. I congratulate them, they were the better team and they won. I wish them the best. But Zimbabwe needs to do a lot, Zambia is a good team,” said Juma.

It will be an interesting tie when Zimbabwe meet Zambia as the former will be hoping to gain some measure of revenge over their neighbours from the north of the Zambezi River after they were eliminated by the Zambians during the 2014 qualification of the same tournament, then known as the Africa Women Championships.

The latest competition, Zambia beat Namibia 5-2 on aggregate. They won the first leg 3-1 at Nkoloma Stadium before they held Namibia to a 2-2 draw at Sam Nujoma Stadium on Friday.

Teams

Zimbabwe: C. Dzingirai, F. Muzongondi, E. Chibanda, S. Makoto, N. Majika, L. Mutokuto (P. Mujuru 46minutes), D. Kaitano, E. Msipa, M. Chirandu (E. Jeke 66 minutes), R. Neshamba (K. Bhasopo 73minutes), M. Nyaumwe.

Tanzania: B. Julius, A. Rashid, S. Athimani, D. Daniel, F. Maonyo, A. Katunzi, H. Henzron, F. Makusanyo, A. Bilali, M. Omar, F. Mastafa (M. Kaimu 54minutes).

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  • ian

    Well done girls for winning against Tanzania. I am sure that the matches have also served as good practice in your preparations for the Olympics. Continue the winning streak as you meet up with Zambia shortly. One thing for Mlauzi and the team- you really need to pull up your socks if you are going to make it at the Olympics. I am sure you know that the teams you will be up against are no small fish at all-some of them can even beat the warriors men’s squad by huge margins home and away. They can even go far at such tournaments as AFCON!!! Your team members body language did not show that you are potential champions at the Olympics at all! The fitness was just not there at all!. Although there were flashes of brilliance here and there, the team did not show that they have qualified for a major world tournament at all. If you do not change, I think that you are going to break records for the wrong reasons at the Olympics. You will likely lose by margins of more than 20 goals against you, so be warned.

  • muongorori

    For a team that will be going to the global showcase in August, that perfomance was pathetic to say the least, way below par and Zifa must do something otherwise we will be humiliated in Rio De janeiro. Chiyangwa is doing his best but football people like Takaendesa Jongwe should pave the proper way forward for our girls. I doubt if Mlauzi is the best coach for us at the moment especially working alone. Give him a foreign Technical Adviser at least to work with. His level of football knowledge is way below that of the people he will be pitting his wits against in Rio.

  • Tatenda Mhurudzekunze

    well done mighty mighty warriors I wish you a good going keep up maintaining the same standards