Mighty Warriors blow lead

BULAWAYO - The Mighty Warriors were left cursing themselves after giving up a three-goal lead before drawing 3-3 against Malawi at the ongoing Cosafa Women’s Championships to leave them on the verge of exiting the tournament.

Rutendo “Madzimai” Makore’s hat-trick was not enough to send the Mighty Warriors to the semifinals and they are now keeping their fingers crossed that Kenya beat Swaziland today for them to book a place in the last four.

If Swaziland beat Kenya it will be the end of the road for the Mighty Warriors. Kenya are already through to the last four alongside Zambia and South Africa.

A dramatic comeback by Malawi exposed some weaknesses in the Mighty Warriors team especially in defence where they struggled to contain the Sweden-based Tabitha Chawinga while upfront they appear mostly to rely on Makore.

Mighty Warriors coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda thought they never really came to the party.

“Overall it was a great game but there was a lot of panic in defence especially on Tabitha Chawinga. Our decision making was a bit poor on the defence line. We panicked a lot, that’s why they managed to come back,” said Sibanda.

“We put them back in the game with the soft goal that we presented them. The no 10 and 11 (Chawinga sisters Tabeth and Temwa) were the playmakers of the team, they really made Malawi tick. On our part, we lacked creativity going forward,” Sibanda said.

Her opposite number Malawi coach Stewat Lyson Mbolembole thought his team played well.

“It was a tough game. Zimbabwe played better but I think we gave them too much respect in the first half. We only came back in the second half and we started to play.

“We have taken a good lesson from this one. They are an experienced team. My players put up a very good fight and I should congratulate them for that,” Mbolembole said.

The Mighty Warriors started the match on a high tempo fighting extra hard to get a positive result in their quest to qualify for the semi-finals but after getting the deserved lead somehow they faltered allowing Malawi to comeback.

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