By Shelly Guni
Mighty Warriors coach Sithethelelwe ‘‘Kwinji 15’’ Sibanda is banking on her team’s form to upstage defending champions South Africa in a Cosafa Women’s Championship semi-final tie at Isaac Wolfson Stadium today.
The match kicks off at 3:30PM.
The Mighty Warriors booked their place in the semi-finals after securing nine points following convincing victories over Angola (4-1), Mozambique (4-0) and Eswatini (7-0) to finish as Group C leaders.
“We are meeting the hosts and defending champions but I’m sure with the attitude, and the improvement shown by the players in all the matches we have played so far, it’s going to be a 50-50 situation,” Sibanda said.
“I’m impressed, especially, when a team shows improvement, as a coach you are happy and you appreciate the effort the players have put in to get where we are.
“When we started this tournament, my worry really was about our physical fitness – whether we were going to match our opponents given the limited time we had in preparing.
“With the matches we have played so far, I can safely say we are no longer the same when we arrived and I expect the girls to even rise to the occasion when we face South Africa.”
Emmaculate Msipa, with six goals, Rudo Neshamba, who has five, Mavis Chirandu, Sheila Makoto, Talent Mandaza and Majoury Nyaumwe are some of the players Sibanda will be banking on to upstage Banyana Banyana.
Meanwhile, the Young Mighty Warriors will also be bidding for a place in the final when they face neighbours Zambia in the inaugural Cosafa Women Under-20 Cup.
The tournaments are running concurrently and both matches will be at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium here in Port Elizabeth.
Young Mighty Warriors’ match starts at 10am with the seniors’ match set for 3:30PM.
“Having a team that only grouped for five days, and making sure that we progress to the semi-finals, shows that we have got quality and talent in Zimbabwe,’’ Young Mighty Warriors coach, Rosemary Mugadza, said.
“But we need to nurture that talent for us to compete at the highest level.
“I hope they will continue to work hard and make it to the final.’’ The Chronicle