National women football team chief striker Rufaro “Mafidi” Machingura believes the Mighty Warriors are ripe to take on Africa’s finest teams and said the team was not terrified at the prospect of meeting continental powerhouse Nigeria in the qualifiers of the Caf African women championships.
Zimbabwe will kick-start their campaign with what on paper looks an easy encounter against lowly Botswana in the preliminary round.
The first leg is set for Gaborone next weekend with the reverse fixture in Harare two weeks later.
The winner in the two-legged fixture will then face record holders and defending champions Nigeria in the first and final round of the qualifiers whose finals are expected to be held in Equatorial Guinea later this year.
“We are expecting a very tough match against Botswana next week.
“I cannot say we will roll past them, but our team has improved a lot and I don’t see them stopping us. The fact that we beat South Africa and narrowly lost to Ghana at the All-Africa Games, teams which are feared in Africa, means that we have also reached that level.
“If we managed to beat South Africa 3-0, then I think we are capable of beating anyone. We just have to continue working hard and keep the spirit in the team,” said Machingura.
The Mighty Warriors’ preparations for the Botswana tie however received a setback after their proposed friendly match against Malawi scheduled for this weekend was cancelled.