Banyana arrive

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The South Africa national women’s football team was last night expected in the country ahead of the annual Unity Challenge Cup clash against the Mighty Warriors at Rufaro Stadium on Thursday.

Banyana Banyana were supposed to be accompanied by their junior team to Harare, but Baby Banyana could not make it after the South Africa Football Association (Safa) failed to secure seats.

Women football boss Mavis Gumbo yesterday confirmed the Banyana contingent was expected at the Harare International Airport aboard their national airline at 2100hrs.

This will be the second time the two antagonists will be meeting in this competition after their clash during the competition’s inauguration at Rufaro last year, which ended with the visitors beating the hosts 3-0.

However, the Mighty Warriors atoned for that humiliation when they surprised their more illustrious opponents 1-0 in this year’s Cosafa Women Championships final match at the same venue.

Banyana Banyana and the Mighty Warriors then took their growing rivalry to Mozambique in the All-Africa Games with the former winning the match 4-1.

Despite rolling past their opponents in easy fashion in Maputo, South Africa, who are fine-tuning their squad for the 2012 London Olympic Games, have chosen the vastly improving Zimbabwe team as an ideal opponent for their preparations for the games.

The Mighty Warriors are also set to benefit from the friendly match as they are preparing for the African Championships qualifiers set for early next year.

The Rosemary Mugadza-coached side will open their campaign with an away assignment to Botswana next month. The winner between the two teams will meet African giants Nigeria in the second round.