THE Mighty Warriors failed to qualify for the African Women’s Championships finals after their second leg loss at home against Zambia at Rufaro stadium yesterday.
BY GARISH PHIRI
Zimbabwe . . . . (1) 1
Zambia . . . . . . (0) 2
Zambia won 2-2 on aggregate
After having done well to beat their opponents 1-0 in Lusaka on Wednesday, Zimbabwe needed at least a draw but they lost in front of their own fans.
Strikes by Helen Chanda on 54 minute and Barbra Banda on 87 minutes sealed victory for the visitors.
The Mighty Warriors went into the lead after 26-year-old skipper Rutendo Makore’s blazing shot struck the woodwork at the stroke of the first half and an alert Erina Jeke pounced on the rebound to finish with a cool effort.
That lead, however, proved temporary as Zambia equalised in the 54th minute courtesy of Banda. Chanda then made it 2-1 beating goalkeeper Chido Dziringa with a sizzling shot.
From there on Zimbabwe struggled to cope with Zambia’s pace.
Zimbabwe coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda was happy with her team’s effort despite failure to qualify.
“It’s very unfortunate we lost, such things happen in football. We are obviously not happy about it. We played well but we conceded because of lack of concentration at the back. We knew they had pace, but we failed to track the runner and we got punished. At the end of the day we lost and it is congratulations to Zambia and we wish them all the best in Ghana” she said.
Zambia’s Coach Bruce Mwape hailed his opponents and was pleased as his team emerged victorious at the end of the game.
“I am very happy with the results although Zimbabwe has been our obstacle for a long time starting in 2014 but this time around we made some few changes and we got success,” he said.
Zimbabwe: C Dzigirai, N Majika, L Mutokuto, N Ncube, S Makoto, T Mandaza, M Nyaumwe,F Mudzongondi, M Chirandu, E Jeke (E Msipa 64 injured (D Kaitano76’), R Makore
Zambia: H Nali, H Zulu, R Chileshe, L Chisamu, A Mulenga, M Mwakaipa, B Banda, M Belenu, H Chanda, M Mabwe (R Kundananji 74’), M Tembo.