It's do or die, says Mlauzi

YAOUNDE - Mighty Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi has described today’s match against Egypt as a must-win encounter if they are to progress to the semi-finals of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.

Zimbabwe opened their campaign with a brave goalless draw against Banyana Banyaya on Saturday evening. Today’s match kicks off at 8pm.

Zimbabwe also go into the match high on confidence since they beat Egypt 2-1 in a friendly international in Harare in September.

“It’s yet another important match for us. It is do or die for us especially if we are to stay in the tournament,” Mlauzi said.

“We are going to face a side with a rich international culture although the women’s side is still to find its feet in the sport. It’s going to be a different game altogether from the one we played against South Africa in our opening match.

“We are definitely going to approach it differently.

“We have analysed them and I think that friendly match has given us a hint on their type of play and it’s highly unlikely that it will be different.

“This game has a huge bearing on the final group standings. The important thing for us will be to get maximum points then goals will become a bonus.

“At this stage, it’s still an open group because if Cameroon draw against South Africa we will be level on points. That means the group will go to the wire which means maximum points tomorrow is of paramount importance.”

Mlauzi also hinted on tinkering with the team which did duty against Banyana Banyana for today’s match.

“We are considering bringing in some fresh legs. In football tournaments you need fresh legs so that the team plays well,” he said adding they are also monitoring midfielder Emmaculate Msipa, who is suffering from a cold.

“She picked up a cold ... We are monitoring her but it will also be important to rest her if she is not ready.

“She had light training and we are still monitoring her. We will think about it and see if she is in good state of mind to play.”

In the event that Msipa fails to recover in time, Mlauzi still has another experienced player in Aldigrade Bhamu.

Mighty Warriors captain Talent Mandaza concurred with her coach on the need to get maximum points against Egypt today.

“It’s an important game for us. We drew the first one and we really need maximum points against Egypt,” she said.

“We need to avoid complacency though. We might have beaten them in that friendly match but this is a different game and in any case they had better preparations than us so we need to take them seriously.

“It’s a tough group we are in but we are hoping to win and score more goals because they might matter in the end.”

 

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