HomeSportSoccerMighty Warriors bank on home advantage

Mighty Warriors bank on home advantage

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Mighty Warriors assistant coach Johannes Chikaola has said they will bank on the team’s impressive home record when they host Botswana in the second leg of the Caf African Women’s Championships preliminary round qualifier at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.

Zimbabwe have won all but one match they have played at home since their spectacular return to the international arena at the end of 2010.

“We have been very impressive at home. We only lost to South Africa in 2010 and we have not lost another match at home since then. That record alone should give us confidence going into the Sunday match.

The girls have done well playing in front of the home crowd and we expect them to continue in that form,” said Chikaola.

The Mighty Warriors announced their formal return to the international stage with a 4-0 whacking at the hands of neighbours South Africa in the inaugural Unity Cup in December 2010, and that was to be the last time the Mighty Warriors tested defeat at home.

The Rosemary Mugadza- coached squad went on to beat Zambia 1-0 in the All Africa Games preliminary round qualifiers in February while Angola were given a 2-0 hiding when they visited Harare in the next stage of the same competition.

Next on the list was Lesotho in the Cosafa Women Championships in July last year. They were beaten 4-0. Malawi were soon to be humiliated 8-2 and later Mozambique who were beaten 3-0 — all in the group stages of the regional tournament.

Tanzania fought to a goalless draw in the semi-finals of the competition, but eventually succumbed 4-2 during the penalty shoot-out.

The hosts then beat South Africa 1-0 in the finals before humiliating the same opposition 3-0 in last year’s Unity Cup match.

The Mighty Warriors yesterday upped their preparations for the match with two friendly matches against two men’s teams.

The squad played Sprouting Under-17 boys team in the afternoon before engaging SR Villa later in the evening.

“Having scored an away goal, people might think we will want to sit back and defend that goal. We don’t believe in that. We will play our usual game and try to get an early goal that will certainly kill them off.

Botswana are chasing the game and will obviously try to attack us, but we are ready for them,” added Chikaola.

Zimbabwe will go into the match carrying a one goal advantage after beating the Lady Zebras 1-0 in Gaborone two weeks ago.

Erina Jeke scored the priceless away goal that could prove to be decisive come Sunday.

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