Mighty Warriors strikers Rufaro Machingura and Rutendo Makore have been ruled out of the 2012 African Women Championships second leg qualifying match against Nigeria in Lagos this weekend, dealing the team a heavy blow as they try to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.
The two, who play for Black Rhinos Queens are said to be down with some illness.
Their absence has left coach Rosemary Mugadza with only two recognisable strikers in her travelling squad released yesterday.
Rudo Neshamba and Erina Jeke will now be given the responsibility of finding the all important goals for the Mighty Warriors.
Another striker Kudakwashe Bhasopo was recently been moved to a defensive midfielder position, but with the striker crisis facing her, Mugadza is likely to push her upfront instead.
Save for the two, Mugadza kept faith in the team that played in the first leg.
The major casualty is goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai — omitted too from the team that travelled to Tanzania for a friendly match last month.
Samkeliso Zulu and Eunice Chibanda have replaced Machingura and Rutendo Makore.
The Mighty Warriors are expected to leave for Lagos tomorrow morning.
Women’s football boss Mavis Gumbo yesterday said the Zimbabwe delegation will fly out in the morning aboard a South African Airways flight to Johannesburg before connecting to Lagos in the afternoon.
The match will be played at the artificial turf of the sTeslim Balogun Stadium on Saturday.
Kick-off will be at 5pm Zimbabwe time.
The aggregate winner between the two teams will qualify for the finals to be hosted by Equatorial Guinea in November. The Mighty Warriors have not broken camp since their defeat against the Super Falcons, and are expected to play a friendly match against the Members of Parliament at Rufaro Stadium this afternoon in preparation for the Saturday match.
Travelling squad: O Chingawo, P Mukutya, N Majika, R Mutyavaviri, L Masase, V Ndlovu, D Bhobho, S Makoto, F Muzongondi, N Ndlovu, M Nyaumwe, K Bhasopo, S Zulu, V Bepete, E Msipa, E Jeke, R Neshamba, E Chibanda.