Zimbabwe . . . . (1) 3
Mozambique . . . . . .0
The Mighty Warriors’ fairytale run in the Cosafa Women Championships continued on Tuesday with yet another polished performance to beat a tactically disciplined Mozambican side at Gwanzura Stadium.
The hosts fielded a relatively weaker side yesterday and could not produce the vintage performance like what they did when they crushed Malawi by eight goals on Monday but they were still competitive enough to collect all the three points to top Group A with nine points.
Zimbabwe will now face Tanzania who finished second in Group B in the semi-finals on Thursday while defending champions South Africa also qualified as number one in their group and will face Malawi in another semi-final match set for Thursday.
Malawi qualified for the semis after trouncing Lesotho 5-2 in a Group A match at Rufaro Stadium on Tuesday.
Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza said she was prepared to face Tanzania on Saturday and vowed to finish off South Africa in the finals.
“I’m very happy with the performance of the team so far and I hope we will carry on like that in the remaining games. Tanzania are a very strong side, they have a mobile midfield and a good strike force but we have done our homework and we are ready for them. We want to win this trophy at all costs, I hope we will meet South Africa in the finals so that we can see where we are before we go for the All Africa Games in two months’ time,” said Mugadza.
On fielding a relatively second string side, Mugadza said, “I wanted to give everyone a chance. Some of these players have not played for sometime so I wanted them to have a feel and see if we have the right replacements in right places.”
Mugadza made wholesale changes to the team that humiliated Malawi on Monday, bringing in six new faces into the starting XI and the move almost backfired.
Regular goalkeeper Onai Chingawo was relegated to the bench, and so were Patience Mujuru, Ruvimbo Mutyavaviri, Nobuhle Magika, Talent Mandaza and Tsitsi Mairosi and the team looked jittery in the opening few minutes.
Under-20 goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai was given the responsibility to guard the post while Sheilla Makoto, Danai Bhobho, Tapfuma “Boys” Moyo, Emmaculate Msipa and Elizabeth Chaparangana were thrust into the first eleven.
Zimbabwe started the match on the offensive and found the target through Boys in the 28th minute after the veteran player had beaten an offside trap to blast past the rather impressive Celeste Cuna in goals for Mozambique.
Player of the moment Rufaro “Mafidi” Machingura scored the second for Zimbabwe and her seventh of the tournament in the 65th minute when she headed home a Eunice Chibanda cross from the right.
Erina Jeke made the win resounding 10 minutes from time when she hit the roof of the net after a scramble in the box following a corner kick.
The hosts could have harvested a lot more goals had luck been on their side. Msipa, Machingura and Jeke (twice) were denied by the woodwork while Marjory Nyaumwe and Jeke’s efforts earlier in the game were controversially ruled out for offsides by Malawian referee Martha Nyekanyela.