THE Mighty Warriors will be looking to emphatically bounce back from Friday’s disappointing draw against Zambia by convincingly beating Malawi in their final Cosafa Women’s Championship Group A encounter at Luveve Stadium today to book a direct berth in the semi-finals.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Zimbabwe lead Group A with four points after winning their first game 4-0 against Madagascar and the 1-1 draw to Zambia, who also have four points after beating Malawi 6-3 and a draw against Zimbabwe.
However, a defeat to Malawi today could see the Mighty Warriors being eliminated from the tournament, with the Malawians also in contention while Zambia play their last group match against Madagascar, who have already been eliminated after losing their first two matches.
But it is the Mighty Warriors’ over-reliance on top striker Rutendo Makore with a jittery central defence of Nobuhle Majika and Lynette Mutokuto that could spell out disaster for Zimbabwe in today’s match against Malawi, powered by Sweden-based striker Tabitha Chawinga who has scored seven goals so far.
Makore has scored all the five goals for the Mighty Warriors.
The Malawians are on three points after beating Madagascar 6-3, having lost their first game by the same score line to Zambia in their first game.
Mighty Warriors’ coach Sithethelewe Sibanda is confident of beating Malawi and sailing through.
“Our objective is to qualify and it’s good that we did not lose to Zambia. We are still in the race. We take each game as it comes. We are done with Zambia and we concentrate on the Malawi game but we will have our tactical approach to the game, do well and come out with a positive result,” Sibanda said.
Malawi gaffer Stewart Mbolembole is wary of the threat posed by the Mighty Warriors.
“It is going to be a tough one. We need to be disciplined if we are to progress, or if we are to stand against them. Zimbabwe are a good side and we respect them but we have the belief that there is no team, which cannot be beaten. If we have any hopes of progressing in the tournament, we need to stop conceding. Zimbabwe are a team that can score anytime and if we allow them to score, we will give ourselves pressure,” Mbolembole said.
In Group B, guests Kenya look set to make it to the semi-finals after winning their first two games, beating Mozambique 5-2 and Mauritius 11-0, while in Group C it’s South Africa’s Banyana Banyana who look set for the semi-finals and have already accounted for Lesotho 3-0 and Namibia 3-1 to get to six points.
Final group matches:
Group A: Zambia v Madagascar 2pm (Barbourfields), Zimbabwe v Malawi 2pm (Luveve).
Group C: South Africa v Botswana 430pm (Luveve), Namibia v Lesotho 4:30pm (Barbourfields)
Group B: Mauritius v Mozambique 2pm (Luveve), Kenya v Swaziland 2pm (Barbourfields).