Neshamba is back

BY HENRY MHARA

RUDO Neshamba has bounced back into the Mighty Warriors fold after she was included in the 32-member squad that will participate in the Cosafa Women Championships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa next week.

But there is no Rutendo Makore in the list announced by coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda yesterday.

Neshamba last played for the national team at the Rio Olympics Games in 2016, where she aggravated a knee injury.

So bad was the injury that she contemplated hanging her boots, but after a successful surgery in 2017, the striker who is now a mother of one, returned to competitive football last year when she joined league side Harare City Queens.

She will be expected to lead the Mighty Warriors front line at the tournament in the absence of Makore, who has been omitted from the list.

It was not clear yesterday why the Cosafa 2017 golden boot winner has not been included in the squad.

Sibanda has decided to stick with the tried and tested members in the squad, with veterans such as Merjury Nyaumwe, Felistas Muzongondi, goalkeeper Chido Dzingai, Nobuhle Majika it into and captain Talent Mandaza all making the team.

Players started trooping into camp yesterday and training starts today.

The Mighty Warriors were drawn in Group C alongside eSwatini, Angola and Mozambique.

The tournament runs from Wednesday next week to August 11 and the Mighty Warriors will play on the opening day against Angola.

Sibanda will be using the Cosafa Championships as preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which starts just a few weeks after the final in Port Elizabeth.

Zimbabwe will play Zambia in the Olympic qualifiers.

Mighty Warriors squad

Goalkeepers: Lindiwe Magwede (Herentals) Precious Mudyiwa (Black Rhinos) Chido Dzingirai (Correctional) Onai Chingawo (Weerams) Shebba Rauli (Auckland).

Defenders: Nobukhosi Ncube (Correctional) Lynett Mutokuto, Rufaro Machingura (Black Rhinos) Lincy Mpaya, Agnes Tumbare (Harare City) Sheila Makoto (Blue Swallows) Talent Mungwanda (Herentals) Sithembile Nyoni (Weerams) Nobuhle Majika (MSU)

Midfielders: Talent Mandaza, Emmaculate Msipa, Mavis Chirandu, Daisy Kaitano, Felistas Muzongondi (Black Rhinos), Marjory Nyaumwe (Correctional) Danai Bhobho (Harare City) Vimbai Mharadzi, Edeline Mutumbami (Blue Swallows), Concilia Madotsa (Faith Drive).

Strikers: Rudo Neshamba, Rachel Mutseneki (Harare City) Shamiso Mutasa (Auckland) Susan Nyama (Herentals) Maudy Mafuruse (Faith Drive), Erina Jeke (Correctional) Belinda Vheremu (Black Mambas), Natasha Ndowa (Blue Swallows)

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