Mighty Warriors ready

MIGHTY Warriors assistant coach Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda believes they are in a good shape to do well at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) finals which kick off in Cameroon tomorrow.

Shadreck Mlauzi’s side, who left the country on Wednesday, will begin their campaign against neighbours South Africa at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé tomorrow in the opening game of the tournament.

Despite having shoddy preparations ahead of the tournament, Sibanda stated that she, along with the players, were now looking forward to give their best.

The team did not have the best of preparations which was largely due to financial constraints.
But they however, played Egypt at Rufaro Stadium last month in a hastily-arranged friendly match, which they won 2-1 where Mlauzi had to do largely with a makeshift side after some league teams declined to release their players for national duty.

They were then hammered by South Africa 0-3 in another friendly match at the National Sports Stadium last week, which the technical team also used to try some of the new players in the squad.

And speaking to the Weekend Post before the team’s departure, Sibanda was happy with the spirit shown by the players and is confident they will give a good account of themselves.

“I think we are ready and looking forward to the start of the tournament,” Sibanda said.
“We now know what we are going to face in Cameroon and, yes, it is going to be tough. An opening win is vital.

“It’s going to be critical, that first game, because you don’t want to be left behind so early in the competition.

“I think we have an exciting group of players who are eager to do well and we are looking forward to a good tournament.

“We are also an ambitious technical team and we definitely want to progress to the knockout stages.”
After their clash against Banyana Banyana tomorrow the Mighty Warriors will then face Egypt three days later.

They will then complete their group assignments against Cameroon on November 25 with the top two teams proceeding to the semi-finals.

Cameroon coach Enow Ngachu, whose team has an opening match against Egypt tomorrow, is also confident about his team’s chances in the tournament.

He was quoted in the media saying: “It is a difficult group but Cameroon is up to the challenge.
“Zimbabwe and South Africa are experienced teams and this makes the group more difficult.
“All the countries that qualified for the Nations Cup have to be respected, they merit their qualification and we have to be very careful.

“If we are psychologically prepared we are going to come out of the group stage. Our objective is to grab the trophy and to achieve this we must challenge any country.

“We are second in Africa and it is possible to become first.”

Mighty Warriors squad: Chido Dzingirai, Manyara Mandara, Lindiwe Magwede, Talent Mandaza, Emmaculate Msipa, Nobuhle Majika, Ruvimbo Mutyavaviri, Rutendo Makore, Marjoury Nyaumwe, Sheila Makoto, Eunice Chibanda, Danai Bhobho, Felistas Muzongondi, Kudakwshe Basopo, Nobukhosi Ncube, Aldigrade Bhamu, Patience Mujuru, Barita Kabwe, Maud Mafuruse, Sifulindile Moyo, Mavis Chirandu —Godknows Matarutse

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