Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
MIGHTY Warriors assistant coach, Sithethelelwe Sibanda, feels they have to up their game if they are entertaining any hopes of prevailing over Zambia when the two teams meet in Africa Women Cup of Nations final qualifying round next month.
The Mighty Warriors proceed to the next stage following their 3-2 victory on aggregate against Tanzania.
The last round matches are scheduled to get underway on the weekend of 8 to 10 April.
“I must say we have qualified but our next opponents are Zambia, it’s going to be a very tough match,” said Sibanda.
“Just progressing to the next stage means the matches get even tougher. So we are expecting a tough match we will be at our best.
“We will work on our shortcomings. In football you have to be able to defend and you have to be able to score.
“So, approaching the Zambian game, we know it’s going to be tougher and we are going to try and get some information about Zambia and make sure we prepare for them.
“Some of the players like the defensive link (Daisy Kaitano), who scored in her second game, we are still giving her game time so that, at least, we have a large base of players we can rely on.”
Sibanda said there was need to support the team in all aspects, including off the field of play, when they begin preparations for the Zambia tie.
“We would want the girls to be supported on all aspects that a player needs so that at the end of the day they can fully concentrate and to ensure that psychologically they are motivated.
“We need a lot of motivation for them to really perform to the best of their ability,” said Sibanda.
The Shadreck Mlauzi-coached side won the first leg in Dar es Salaam 2-1 before being restricted to a 1-1 draw on Sunday at Rufaro.
While Zambia emerged winners against Namibia with a 5-3 victory margin.
However, the Mighty Warriors who struggled with consistence on Sunday, will have to pull up their socks if they are to book their place at this year’s edition of the Africa Women Cup of Nations.
“We will have to sit down, analyse them (Zambia) and get a lot of information. But what we know from Zambia is they are a pre-dominantly physical side, not technically good.
“They have speedy players here but, as I have said, we will plan accordingly when we sit down with the rest of the technical team. We look forward to the tie,” said Mlauzi.
Mighty Warriors midfielder Emmaculate Msipa said they are ready for the task ahead of them and believes they will conquer as they seek to qualify for another major tournament following the Olympics qualification last year.
“We are going to win, we are confident. We just have to apply the strategies we are taught. We know the game is going to be tough, Zambia are a better side but we are going to show them our best.
“We have to improve from the way we played today (Sunday), especially on our attack,” said Msipa.
Msipa felt they could have done better against Tanzania and acknowledged that they were given a good run for their money.
“It was tough, it was different from the away game. The game was very tough, they were organised this time, we didn’t expect this.
“We could have done better but because of their organisation we could not but at least we managed to win the tie,” said Msipa.
Seven countries from the qualifiers will join hosts Cameroon for the continental showcase later this year.
Zimbabwe last participated in the competition in 2004.
Their best performance was in 2000 when they finished fourth in Nigeria.
In 2002 and 2004, when South Africa hosted the tournament they were eliminated in the group stages.
ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa on Sunday promised the players that they will get all the money realised from the gate takings.
ZIFA chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze yesterday said their financial committee was still working on the issue.