Mighty Warriors leave for Angola


The Zimbabwe women national team, the Mighty Warriors, leave the country on Thursday evening ahead of the Zone VI All Africa Games first round, first leg qualifier against Angola.

The match was initially pencilled for Saturday afternoon in Dunda, some 400km out of the capital Luanda but has been moved to Sunday. Kick-off is 1530hrs

Zifa women football boss Mavis Gumbo confirmed to NewsDay Sport that the team would depart at 1845hrs aboard the South African Airways to Johanesburg and would wait for five hours in South Africa before connecting with the Angolan Airways at around midnight.

They are expected to land in Luanda at around 0400hrs in the morning before proceeding to Dunda on the same flight.

The Warriors qualified for the first round after brushing aside neighbours Zambia 4-1 on aggregate in the preliminary round qualifiers last month.

The winner between Angola and Zimbabwe in the two-legged affair will qualify for the All Africa Games set for Mozambique in September.

The Mighty Warriors had a two-week training in Hwange to familiarise with the hot conditions of Angola and coach Rosemary Mugadza believes the team is geared up for the encounter.

“The weather conditions in Hwange and that in Angola are almost the same so it was good for us to acclimatise before going to Angola,” said Mugadza on Tuesday.

“We played three friendlies there (Hwange) against men teams and the girls did very well in all the matches. I want to believe that they are ready for the game. Playing our first game away is also an added advantage to us, the team will not be under unnecessay pressure from the fans,” added Mugadza.

The Mighty Warriors drew 1-1 and 2-2 against Railways and Weekes Academy respectively before walloping Makwikwa Academy 3-0 in their last friendly match in Hwange.

Mugadza named her final 18 squad on Tuesday, with only two new faces from the team that beat Zambia.

Defender Patience “Shortbirth” Mujuru and captain Nomsa “Boyz” Moyo who missed the Zambia match due to injury have retained their places in the team.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Under -23 football team, the Young Warriors, are expected to troop into camp on Wednesday ahead of their make-or-break Zone VI All Africa Games first round, second leg qualifier against Botswana at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

The match is equally poised after the first leg encounter produced a 2-2 draw but the Young Warriors will fancy their chances in front of home supporters.

The Young Warriors technical team on Tuesday announced a bloated 27-man squad for the match, which is expected to be trimmed on Friday morning.

The Friday Phiri led team, who will be missing the services of Archford Gutu and Denver Mukamba who are suspended after accumulating red cards in the first leg, added five new faces to the team that drew against Botswana.

Highlanders midfielder Misheck Mburayi, Dynamos’ Patrick Kumbula, the Kiglon trio of Patrick Kanda, William Manondo and Ngonidzashe Maviri have been given a chance while defender Knowledge Machona who was suspended for the first leg returns.

Mighty Warriors squad:

Goalkeepers: O Chingau, C Dzingirai.

Defenders: E Chibanda, R Mutyavaviri, L Masase, P Mujuru, N Madzika.

Midfielders: T Mairosi, M Nyaumwe, N Ndlovu, N Moyo (captain), E Msipa, T Mandaza, V Bepete. Strikers: E Jeke, K Bhasopo, R Machingura, R Neshamba

Young Warriors squad:

Goalkeepers: A Sibanda, G Chigova, N Francis.

Defenders: L Zvasiya, Q Amini (captain), O Mwerahari, V Kamhuka, C Mutero, B Chimwamuchere, E Nkomo, K Machona.

Midfielders: J Ngodzo, A Amidu, W Kamutyariwa, T Mamvura, M Mburayi, D Chafa, R Madamombe, T Mutero, C Mukanhairi, N Maviri.

Strikers: M Dumbura, M Rusike, W Manondo, S Sithole, P Kaunda, P Kumbula.