Team Zimbabwe continue to stutter at the ongoing 10th edition of the All-Africa Games in Maputo Mozambique after the country’s medal hopefuls, the Mighty Warriors, were whacked 4-1 by a second-string South African Banyana Banyana at the Maxaquene Stadium on Monday afternoon.
With all the other teams representing Zimbabwe struggling in the opening games, there was hope the Mighty Warriors would cheer the nation up.
However, two quick goals in the first half by Banyana Banyana, who sent their B team to the games as their first team is participating in the 2012 London Olympic qualifiers, shattered the country‘s dreams.
Star midfielder Marjory Nyaumwe scored for the Mighty Warriors to make the score 2-1 before half-time, but Banyana Banyana completed the rout with another two goals on the other side of the half.
Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza blamed complacency for her team’s demoralising defeat.
“Their performance was nothing short of a disaster.
We missed nine clear-cut chances in the opening minutes and they thought they would overrun South Africa. They scored two quick goals and we never recovered. In the second half we tried hard to come back into the match, but again we failed to convert the chances we created and we were punished on the other end. We have put ourselves in a very tight situation as we now have to win our remaining two matches in our group to qualify for the next round,” said Mugadza from Maputo on Monday.
The Mighty Warriors will now square up with Africa’s second best ranked team, Ghana, who were playing another Group B member Tanzania on Monday.
The Zimbabwe women’s team will play their last group matches against the Twiga Stars of Tanzania on Thursday, a team they beat in the Cosafa Women Championships this year.
Only one team from the group will qualify for the semi-final.
Team Zimbabwe started the games on a dismal note, with the women’s basketball team falling 37-73 to hosts Mozambique on Friday.
Following that lacklustre performance, they were humbled 75-45 by Nigeria in their second match at the Desportivo Sports Club on Sunday evening.
The same team was beaten by Kenya 63-45 last night.
Algeria, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the other teams in Zimbabwe’s group.
It’s not rosy either for Zimbabwe in table tennis.
The Zimbabwe women’s team was beaten 3-0 by Uganda on Sunday while their male counterparts also fell by the same scoreline to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There was also no joy for the Zimbabwe contingent as boxer Josphat Mufayi lost his middleweight fight 5-7 to a Mozambican fighter.
There was, however, some hope in the Zimbabwe camp after swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry qualified for the 200m individual medley finals held on Monday night.
Chess grandmaster Robert Gwaze, another medal hopeful for the country, was also in action on Monday evening while the Zimbabwe netball team was expected to face off with Kenya on Monday night.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe got their first medal when Nicole Horn won silver in the individual 200m freestyle swimming event, Monday evening.
In triathlon, Zimbabwe missed out on a medal, with Chritopher Selgate coming fourth.