Mighty Warriors, Uruguay clash

MOLDONADO - Zimbabwe women football team coach Rosemary Mugadza says while the main objective of the Uruguay tour is to learn modern football trends, the Mighty Warriors will not be intimidated by their higher-ranked opponents when they take to the field.

Mugadza was speaking ahead of the African side’s first of three matches against the hosts at Domingo Burgueno Miguel Stadium tonight.

 The match kicks-off 10pm Zimbabwean time.

Initially, the Mighty Warriors were scheduled to take part in a five-team invitational tournament but they will now play three matches against the hosts after the other invited teams – Chile, Paraguay and Argentina – failed to make it due to some logistical problems.

The Mighty Warriors arrived in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo on Sunday afternoon before leaving by road for Moldonado, about 120km from the capital, where they are staying.

Yesterday they had light training in the morning and another in the afternoon at the match venue.

 The team however received a hostile reception from the hosts after they were booked in a sub-standard apartment which they turned down before they were transferred to another place, which again by standards back home, is also second rate.  

The Mighty Warriors will face Uruguay’s senior team tonight before locking horns with the Uruguay Under-20 team on Thursday and round-up their tour with a date against the senior team again on Saturday.

 The winner between the two teams will be presented with a floating trophy on Saturday and Mugadza has issued a rallying call ahead of the matches.

 “We made it clear that we have come here to learn. It’s good for us as a team and we are looking forward to exciting matches,” Mugadza said.

 “We have a strong team and there is a lot to play for. We want to take the trophy home and it will be a morale boost for the team ahead of our Cosafa Challenge tournament in October.

 “We have a lot of respect for Uruguay as you are aware they are one of the best ranked teams in the world. We have come with a strong side and we will make sure we pick our best side to face them. We will ensure everyone is afforded game time for the three matches. We are saying to the girls, let’s go out there and conquer,” added Mugadza.

After this tour, Uruguay are expected to tour Harare sometime in June or July.

Uruguay Women’s Football president Nair Ackernann confirmed the developments.

 “We are hoping to tour Zimbabwe this year for the return matches but we will have to confirm. We have wanted to have an invitational tournament but with Uruguay, Chile and Argentina but there were some logistical challenges that prevented these teams from coming.

 “We had a similar tournament last year with these countries but we are happy Zimbabwe is here and we are looking forward to strengthen our relationship with them and work together,” she said. - Godknows Matarutse inUruguay

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