HomeSportMighty Warriors seek Olympic redemption

Mighty Warriors seek Olympic redemption

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MIGHTY WARRIORS will be looking to compensate for their failure to qualify for the All-Africa Games finals by progressing to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games starting with a tricky fixture against Zambia in the second round qualifier in Lusaka at the weekend.

BY SPORTS REPORTER

The match takes place at the Nkoloma Stadium on Sunday before the return match in Harare the following weekend.

The team is expected to fly out of the country tomorrow.

The Rosemary Mugadza-coached side trooped into camp this week to begin preparations for the match, with 23 players reporting for duty.

Speaking to NewsDay Sport after the team’s morning training session yesterday, Mugadza said she was happy with preparations so far.

She, however, noted some grey areas in their preparations, chiefly the absence of assistant coach Mebelo Njekwa who is yet to be released by his Premier Soccer League club Hwange. Indications yesterday were that Njekwa would not travel with the team to Lusaka.

The Hwange Ladies trio of Pamela Mhlanga, Bokani Sibanda and Simelinkosi Ncube were yet to report for training in the morning although they were expected to arrive later in the day.

“It’s looking good so far. We managed to train with the bulk of the players starting yesterday and we are glad that we had a fitness trainer from the Young Warriors who has come in worked with the girls on their fitness levels and so far so good. We are just hoping that the girls will carry on from where they left against Ghana, performance wise. If they are in a good frame of mind, there is no reason we can fail to get a good result in Zambia,” Mugadza said.

The two teams met last year in the Namibia Africa Women Championship with, Zambia emerging 2-0 aggregate winners. Zimbabwe was also booted out of the All-Africa Games by Ghana earlier this year.

Mugadza, however, believes they are past that setback, and wants to make up for it with the Rio Olympic ticket.

“Last year, we had a lot of things which were going on in the background and it affected the team. We had a new executive and things had not settled down and we hope this time around nothing will affect us. We showed a lot of character in the last match against a very good Ghana side and we are just hoping the girls will give us a similar performance. We failed to qualify for those finals but this is a good chance for us to redeem ourselves,” she added.

If the Mighty Warriors progress to the next stage, they will face the winner between Côte d’Ivoire and Tunisia.

Zimbabwe faced Tunisia in 2011 in a friendly match played in Egypt, winning the match 1-0 courtesy of a goal by Tsitsi Mairosi. The Mighty Warriors have never faced Ivory Coast before.

The task becomes even more daunting for the Mighty Warriors if they progress past this stage, as they will face the winners of the matches involving Egypt/Ghana and winner of Guinea Bissau/Liberia versus Cameroon in the fourth and final qualifying round.

The winner of the final qualifying round will join the other winner from the other qualifying group as Africa’s two representatives at the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio.

Mighty Warriors squad:
Chido Dzingirai, Deliwe Makaha, Process Chatsamiwa, Patience Mujuru, Nobuhle Majika, Sheila Makoto, Moleene Murandu, Chido Muhara, Fortunate Kandawa, Emmaculate Msipa, Talent Mandaza, Felistas Muzongondi, Marjory Nyaumwe, Rejoice Kamupfumvuti, Samkeliso Zulu, Mavis Chirandu, Erina Jeke, Rudo Neshamba, Tafadzwa Tsunguro, Berita Kabwe, Kealise Maphosa, Violet Bepete, Bokani Sibanda

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