Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
MIGHTY Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi is confident his side will rise to the challenge when they lock horns with Tanzania on Friday in the Africa Women Cup of Nations first round qualifiers.
Friday’s match will be played in Dar-es-Salaam while the return will be played two weeks later.
Mlauzi yesterday announced his final team, retaining the bulk of the players who represented the country last year during the Olympic Games qualifiers, with seasoned defender Patience Mujuru bouncing back into the fold.
She missed the last game against Cameroon.
New Orleans defender Nobukhosi Ncube will make her debut appearance for the senior women team.
The game against Tanzania will be the Mighty Warriors’ first match since their encounter against Cameroon when they qualified for the Olympic Games. The team has been in camp for the past two weeks in Bulawayo and Mlauzi says he has faith in his charges.
“Obviously we expect a lot from our team, we have set high standards for ourselves believing that we will qualify for yet another major tournament,” said Mlauzi.
“This is another stepping stone and it’s important we get the right results from here.
“As an ambitious technical team and players we have set out to meet another ambitious target. We will be looking for a win.” The Mighty Warriors gaffer said they needed experience for this game and that is why he retained a number of seasoned players such as captain Felistas Muzongondi, striker Rudo Neshamba, who scored the two important goals that helped the team book their place at this year’s Olympics, as well as midfielders, Marjory Nyaumwe and Emmaculate Msipa.
“Obviously, continuity is key going forward, it was important these players have the experience to play games of such magnitude.
“We cannot tamper around with a team, especially for the African Women championship qualifiers.
“Patience has come back into the fold. We were relatively impressed with what we saw during the high performance training camp.
“Some of the players had gained weight, we had a large number of players in the fold but they are not yet ready to be thrown into the deep end.”
ZIFA spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela said they were still working on finalising the trip for the team.
“They are still in Bulawayo, we are working on the logistics for them to come to Harare, then we will advise you when they will be travelling (to Tanzania).
“Tentatively they should leave Harare on Wednesday,” said Gwesela.
Goalkeepers: Chido Dzingirai, Lindiwe Magwede.
Defenders: Nobuhle Majika (vice-captain), Sheila Makoto, Eunice Chibanda, Lynett Mutokuto, Daisy Kaitano, Patience Mujuru, Nobukhosi Ncube.
Midfielders: Emmaculate Msipa, Viola Ndlovu, Rejoice Kapfumvuti, Felistas Muzongondi (captain), Marjory Nyaumwe, Mavis Chirandu.
Strikers: Rudo Neshamba, Erina Jeke, Samkelisiwe Zulu.