HARARE - Mighty Warriors assistant coach Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda says the team showed character to reach the final qualifying round of the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations on Sunday.
Zimbabwe overcame Tanzania 3-2 on aggregate at the weekend and will now meet neighbours Zambia, who dumped Namibia 5-3 on aggregate.
The Mighty Warriors are now just 180 minutes from sealing their ticket to the finals to be held in Cameroon later this year.
“It was a very tough game. They came prepared for us but the most important thing is that we managed to pull through to the final qualifying round,” Sibanda said.
“Credit to the girls for showing character. In terms of fitness, we are not yet there but we are improving with each game. Remember, its work in progress and I am sure we will definitely get better.
“If a team can struggle and get a result then you know you are in the right direction.”
Sibanda believes Zambia will offer the Mighty Warriors a stiffer challenge than the Twiga Stars and wants the team to have adequate preparations ahead of the April clash.
“Zambia will be tough opponents; there is no doubt about that. As you progress to the next round, it’s obvious matches will get difficult. We will try and make sure we are prepared for them,” Sibanda said. The former Mighty Warriors midfielder revealed that they are looking at having a large training squad of at least 40 players ahead of the clash with the Zambians.
This will be the team’s last competitive match before they start preparing for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil later in August.
The Mighty Warriors last year wrote their own piece of history by becoming the first local football team to qualify for the global sporting showpiece.
“We have a large squad of 40 players and we are going to give each and every player a chance to prove themselves,” Sibanda said.
“Remember, we will face possibly the best teams in the World at the Olympics and we need to assemble a competitive team.”