MIGHTY Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza is expected to name the final squad to travel to Zambia for this weekend’s 2016 Rio Olympic qualifier amid an injury worry for chief striker Rudo Neshamba.
BY HENRY MHARA
Neshamba picked an injury on Wednesday during the team’s afternoon training session after landing awkwardly and has been struggling since.
However, Mugadza said she expected her to be fit and to make the final 18 for the trip to Lusaka.
The match takes place at the Nkoloma Stadium on Sunday before the return match in Harare the following weekend.
Mugadza said the team would hold a one-hour training session this morning before their departure in the afternoon.
“We will announce the squad after the training session. We are still assessing some players and we should have the final squad soon after,” Mugadza said.
“Rudo has a knock. She fell badly yesterday, but she has improved. She should be fine. She is the only one carrying a knock, otherwise everything is fine in camp.”
Mugadza’s assistant Mebelo Njekwa was still absent from camp yesterday and it’s almost certain that the former Mighty Warriors captain will do it alone in Zambia.
Njekwa has been denied permission to join the team by his Premier League club Hwange.
The club has decided to hold on to their coach Nation Dube who should be in Harare to prepare the Young Warriors ahead of their match against Swaziland on Sunday.
Dube is assistant to Kalisto Pasuwa.
Zimbabwe and Zambia last met in the past year in the Africa Women Championship qualifier with the later emerging 2-0 aggregate winners.
If the Mighty Warriors progresses to the next stage, they will face the winner between Ivory Coast and Tunisia.
Zimbabwe faced Tunisia in 2011 in a friendly match played in Egypt, winning the match 1-0 courtesy of a goal by Felistas Muzongondi.
The Mighty Warriors have never faced Ivory Coast before.
The task will be even more daunting for Mighty Warriors should 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, Brazil.
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.