Heartbreak for Mighty Warriors

Zimbabwe……(1) 1

Zambia………(0) 2

(Zambia qualify on away goals rule)

HARARE – The Mighty Warriors’ quest for a second successive appearance at the African Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) finals went up in smoke when they lost to Zambia on Sunday.

Zimbabwe looked like they had one foot already in the final tournament to be held in Ghana later in November this year following last week 0-1 away win in Lusaka in the first leg.

Forward Erina Jeke had given the Mighty Warriors the perfect platform when she scored in the first half to give Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda’s charges a 2-0 aggregate lead.

However, Shepolopolo rallied back and equalised in the 54th minute through striker Helen Chanda, who drilled past a jittery Zimbabwe keeper Chido Dzingirai.

Barbra Banda then broke the home side’s hearts when she netted three minutes from full time to give Zambia the win.

The tie finished 2-2 on aggregate but Shepolopolo will be going to Ghana later this year on away goals rule.

While Zimbabwe scored one goal in Zambia, Shepolopolo managed to get two goals on the road.

Sibanda was evidently disappointed by her side’s failure to protect their slender lead from the first leg.

“It’s very unfortunate such things do happen in football but obviously we are not happy about it.

“We played well but I believe a lack of concentration at the back cost us,” Sibanda said.

“We failed to track the runner of which we knew in terms of pace they possessed much better explosive runners than us and we were punished.

“At the end of the day, we have lost, we are out and its congratulations to the Zambians and we wish them all the best in Ghana.”

Zambia coach Bruce Mwape said: “Actually, I’m very happy with the result although Zimbabwe has been our obstacle dating way back in 2014 but this time around we made a few changes.

“Zimbabwe are a very good team, I can say they have got players who have got more experience than ours.

“Our team is actually new, that team that we had was actually suspended for indiscipline so we are just trying to build a new team and with this kind of results, I’m actually encouraged.

“I’m very happy I will work hard that when we get to Awcon we must have a very formidable team.”