HomeSportSoccerTimely boost for Mighty Warriors

Timely boost for Mighty Warriors


The national women football team received a timely boost ahead of their Cosafa Women championship Group A opener against Lesotho at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday with the return to full fitness of key players, goalkeeper Onai Chingawo and chief striker Rudo Neshamba.

The two players received knocks while playing for their respective clubs last weekend and were reportedly racing against time to recover for the opener against Mehalalitoe.

However, Mighty Warriors team manager Charity Munemo yesterday allayed all fears by declaring a clean bill of health for the squad.

“They were not injuries as such but just minor knocks. All the players in camp are fully fit and ready for the first match on Saturday,” said Munemo.

Munemo said her team was happy with the group they were drawn in and expect to go all the way to the final and subsequently win the trophy.

The other teams in Group A are Mozambique and Malawi while Group B have tournament favourites South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania.

Save for Botswana who jetted into the country on Wednesday, all the other six visiting teams were expected in the country late on Thursday.

Lesotho has sent a developmental side for the tournament and has declared that results will not be of major concern to them.

Media reports from the mountain kingdom suggested all players in the squad are below 20 years.

Lesotho Football Association technical director Seephephe Matete was quoted by Lesotho Times at the team’s send-off ceremony on Thursday saying:

“The coach has been with the players since last year and during the holidays, but we are not expecting results now because it’s a development team. We received the invitation from Cosafa very late and did not have the time to organise any international friendly matches.”

Team manager Maleshoane Mokhati added: “Yes, we want to restore the country’s pride but at the moment we want to build a team that will restore the country’s pride ‘tomorrow’. When we started with the U-20 and U-15 training camp in December, we were laying a foundation to restore national pride.”

However, they will not expect to get some favours from their opponents in the group with the hosts having assembled a relatively strong team which is a blend of youth and experience.

Players like right-back Eunice Chibanda, slick midfielder Emmaculate Msipa and free-scoring Neshamba add a youthful flair to a side that boasts veterans like Chingawo, Nokuthula Ndlovu, Tsitsi Mairosi and the skilful Marjory Nyaumwe.

The top two sides in the groups will qualify for the semi-finals with the winners advancing to the finals set for July 9.

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