Mighty Warriors kick off Awcon campaign

HARARE - Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi has identified today’s opening Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) Group A match against neighbours South Africa as a must-win encounter.

The match kicks off at 6:30pm.

Mlauzi said despite limited preparations, the clash with Banyana Banyana at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé, Cameroon this evening will be key and will set the tone for the remainder of the tournament.

Zimbabwe arrived in Cameroon on Thursday afternoon with a delegation that included 21 players.

And with Banyana Banyana being one of the teams expected to make a huge impact at the tournament, Mlauzi is not counting his charges out.   

“We need to play well in the first two games and if we can reach the semi-finals it will be anyone’s game,” Maluzi said.

“Those first two matches will be decisive. But what is important now will be the match against South Africa because it is our first match and if we can pick a positive result, the better.”

The two teams faced each other in an international friendly match last week with the Mighty Warriors being handed a 3-0 drubbing.

For Mlauzi, however, that game presented him with a chance to test some of the new players in his team.

The Mighty Warriors coach has in his ranks a combination of experienced players and youngsters who can cause damage to any side on their day.

Felistus Muzongondi, Ruvimbo Mutyavaviri, Danai Bhobho and Eldgrade Bhamu are some of the experienced players in his team while Mavis Chirandu leads a cast of youngsters that also includes rookie Maud Mafuruse.

After the Banyana Banyana match, Zimbabwe will then face Egypt at the same venue on Tuesday before concluding their group matches against hosts Cameroon on Friday with the top two teams in the group qualifying for the semi-finals.

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