Mighty Warriors seek away win

HARARE - Mighty Warriors captain Talent Mandaza says they will be out to cause an upset against Namibia in their own backyard when the two teams meet tomorrow in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifier.

Mighty Warriors left the country yesterday via South Africa for Windhoek for their first leg, first round tomorrow at Sam Nujoma Stadium before the return leg on Sunday in Harare at Rufaro Stadium.

The Mighty Warriors have been in camp for the past two weeks and Mandaza has declared her charges ready saying it is important they win tomorrow’s encounter as they seek to qualify for the tournament that will be hosted by Ghana later this year.

“We have been preparing for this game and we all know what we want. Everyone is geared up and we are looking forward to a positive result in Namibia,” Mandaza told to the Daily News.

“Obviously playing away from home it’s not going to be an easy match but we have been working hard and we are looking forward to cause an upset on their home soil.

“I think we have a relatively balanced side with a lot of experience and good youngsters.

“So we just need to go out there and play our usual game without putting ourselves under pressure and I know we can deliver. I think it will be important to get a positive result there and finish them off at home.”

Mandaza was also quick to warn her colleagues to guard against complacency.

“On paper we look favourites but we should not take anything for granted,” Mandaza said.

“There are no small teams anymore and the only favour that we can do to ourselves is to go there with the right attitude and approach the match with the attention it deserves. I think we are in good shape and everyone knows the importance of this match.”

In selecting her final squad for the match, Mighty Warriors coach Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda tried to strike a balance between the experienced and youngsters.  Some of the notable experienced players in the team include the returning trio of Emmaculate Msipa, Mavis Chirandu and Felistas Muzongondi.

The Mighty Warriors were, however, dealt a massive blow after Spain-based striker Rutendo Makore was ruled out of the tie through an ankle injury. However, Mandaza, while bemoaning Makore’s absence is confident the other guys will rise to the occasion.

“We really wanted Makore to be available. She is one of the most experienced guys in the team. She is also playing at top level in Europe and her absence is a big loss for us,” Mandaza said.

“But I think whoever is going to be selected will give their best.”

Awcon 2018 finals will be held in Ghana from November 17 to December 1 with the top three finishers automatically qualifying for the 2019 Women’s World Cup scheduled for France.

Should the Mighty Warriors beat Namibia tomorrow they will meet either

Tanzania or Zambia in the last qualifying round.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Chido Dzingirai (Correctional Queens), Manyara Mandara (Mwenezana Queens)

Defenders: Nobuhle Majika (Inline Academy), Nobukhosi Ncube (New Orleans Queens), Sheila Makoto (Blue Swallows Queens), Lynett Mutokuto (Black Rhinos Queens), Edline Mutumbami (Blue Swallows Queens),

Midfielders: Talent Mandaza © (Black Rhinos Queens), Daisy Kaitano (Black Rhinos Queens), Marjory Nyaumwe (Correctional Queens), Emmaculate Msipa (Black Rhinos Queens), Mavis Chirandu (Black Rhinos Queens). Felistas Muzongondi (Black Rhinos Queens), Berita Kabwe (Correctional Queens)

Strikers: Maudy Mafuruse (Faith Drive Queens), Susan Nyama (Herentals Queens), Erina Jeke (Correctional Queens), Vimbai Mharadzi (Blue Swallows Queens)

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