Mighty Warriors face Egypt
AS the Africa Women Cup of Nations draws closer, Zimbabwe’s Mighty Warriors are set to kick-start their preparations with a friendly match against Egypt on Tuesday at Rufaro.
The match kicks off at 4pm.
The Africa Cup of Nations is set to run from November 19 to December 3 in Yaoundé and Limbe with eight countries contesting for the title.
According to the ZIFA website the squad is expected in camp by Sunday, which means they will only have a day or two of training ahead of Tuesday’s game.
Mighty Warriors coach, Shadreck Mlauzi told the ZIFA website that the match is an opportunity to assess their preparedness.
“We are delighted to have this important match against Egypt and I am sure it will help us to assess our players’ preparedness ahead of the AWC,” Mlauzi said.
Egypt are expected to arrive on Saturday. The Egyptians have also qualified for the tournament in Cameroon.
Although Mlauzi has retained the bulk of the Olympic Games squad, he has dropped some players including captain Felistas Muzongondi and chief striker Rudo Neshamba due to injuries.
“We have dropped Rudo (Neshamba) and Felistas (Muzongondi) because of chronic injuries.
“We remain grateful for the girls’ sacrifice during the Olympic Games and the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifiers, therefore, they will be considered for selection once they have recuperated,” Mlauzi said.
Mlauzi has included American based Palesa Chipendo and England-based Moddy Muwoni, who are both midfielders.
“For the first time, we have included foreign-based players to broaden our player base and we hope these players will bring a new dimension to our game since they have been exposed to better facilities,” Mlauzi said.
Other players that are out of the squad due to injuries are strikers Erina Jeke, Samkeliswe Zulu and defender Lynett Mutokuto. They were part of the team at the Olympics.
ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela said they were now working on the logistics for the Mighty Warriors camp.
“The technical team has furnished us with their wish list and we have already set in motion plans to ensure that all their human resources needs are secured on time,” Gwesela said.
Zimbabwe will know what they will be up against this Sunday when the draw is conducted in Yaoundé.
The Mighty Warriors made their debut appearance at the Olympics in August and the Africa Cup of Nations is going to be their second major competition this year.
After competing with some of the world’s best teams such as Germany, Canada and Australia at the Olympics, the senior women side will be hoping to build on their experience in Rio when they join Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, defending champions Nigeria, South Africa and hosts Cameroon at the Nations Cup.
Zimbabwe advanced to the final tournament in Cameroon after defeating Tanzania and Zambia in the qualifiers between March and April.
The eight participating countries will be divided into two groups of four and the top two teams will proceed to the semi-finals.
Mighty Warriors Squad
Goalkeepers: Lindiwe Magwede (Cyclone Stars), Chido Dzingirai (Flame Lily), Manyara Mandara (Mwenezana), Deliwe Makaha (Faith Drive)
Defenders: Danai Bhobho (Mwenezana), Nobuhle Majika (Inline Academy), Nobukhosi Ncube (New Orleans), Sarudzai Chikoore (Conduit), Lince Mpaya, Ruvimbo Mutyavaviri (all Mufakose), Sheila Makoto (Blue Swallows), Patience Mujuru (Black Rhinos)
Midfielders: Emmaculate Msipa, Viola Ndlovu, Violet Bepete,Talent Mandaza (all Black Rhinos), Palesa Chipendo, Mavis Chirandu (Weerams), Greater Bhande (Cyclone Stars), Marjory Nyaumwe (Flame Lily), Moddy Muwoni.
Strikers: Rutendo Makore, Kudakwashe Basopo (all Black Rhinos), Berita Kabwe (Flame Lily), Sibonginkosi Nleya (Weerams), Maudi Mafuruse (Faith Drive), Tonderai Masango (lnline Academy).