ZIMBABWE……… (2) 3
MALAWI………….. (1) 3
The Mighty Warriors progression to the next round of the Cosafa Women’s Championships now depends on a match pitting Kenya and Swaziland this afternoon after Zimbabwe played out a draw against Malawi yesterday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
If Kenya beat Swaziland, then Zimbabwe qualifies by being the best runners-up.
Zambia sailed through to the semi-finals after finishing Group A with seven points following their 7-1 demolition of Madagascar 7-1 at Barbourfields yesterday.
A draw in today’s match will still help Zimbabwe’s cause.
Zimbabwe concluded the group qualifiers with five points, two behind Zambia while in Group C, Namibia lost to Lesotho 2-1 helping South Africa to sail through to the semi-finals after playing a 1-1 draw with Botswana at Luveve. Swaziland are still in the picture in Group B if they beat Kenya.
The only sparkle for the Mighty Warriors was their top striker Rutendo Makore, who has scored all the goals for Zimbabwe in the group qualifiers, netting a hat-trick against Malawi yesterday to take her tally to eight goals.
Makore then scored the opener in the 21st minute with a left-footer from inside the penalty box and got the second 10 minutes later after dribbling past Malawi central defender Eluby Botoman and blasting the ball past goalkeeper Martha Banda.
Zimbabwe gifted Malawi with their first goal as they allowed Temwa Chawinga to shoot to the roof of the net past goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai eight minutes before the break.
But Makore scored another beauty on the 57th minute, outstretching Malawi goalkeeper Banda with a well-taken shot from outside the box.
Mighty Warriors’ coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda was irked by her defence, but was still hopeful Zimbabwe could go through by chance.
“Overally it was a great game, but there was a lot of panic among the defenders, especially on Tabitha. At times when she was stepping to receive the ball, they (the defenders) would panic. Decision-making was a bit poor on the defence line and we allowed them back in the game by the soft goal that we presented in the first half,” she said.