Mighty Warriors storm into Cosafa semi-finals

Privilege Mupeti in action for the Mighty Warriors

THE Mighty Warriors were not exactly flawless but still did enough to advance to the Cosafa Women’s Championship semi-finals following a draw against Botswana at Dobsonville Stadium yesterday.

Zimbabwe now face Zambia tomorrow for a place in the final.

An early goal by Mighty Warriors storm into Cosafa semi-finals
did the magic for Zimbabwe although there was a late scare of the closely-contested showdown especially after Balothanyi Johannes scored the equaliser for Botswana with five minutes to play.

Five more minutes were added as injury time.

Zimbabwe needed to avoid defeat in this final group match while their opponents had to win to clinch the last slot in the semis.

Shadreck Mlauzi

And it was the Shadreck Mlauzi girls who succeeded in their mission, thanks to a compact all round performance.

Carrying six points into the game after winning their opening two group matches against Lesotho and Namibia without conceding a goal, Zimbabwe knew they needed to pick at least a point to earn the right to play defending champions Zambia in the semi-finals tomorrow. And they showed both intent and purpose right from kick-off.

They deservedly took the lead inside four minutes with Chemhere nodding home a Privilege Mupeti corner.

Chemhere was starting for the first time in this tournament after getting the nod ahead of Shyline Dambamuromo.

After surging ahead, the Mighty Warriors should have stretched their advantage at the half-hour mark when impressive leftback Alice Moyo tried a speculative shot that hit the frame of goal.

At the opposite end, Gaonyadiwe Ontlametse failed to direct her effort on target after catching the Zimbabwe rearguard in sixes and sevens.

For most of the opening half, play was mostly concentrated in midfield where Edline Mutumbami and Daisy Kaitano were in full control.

But with Mupeti, Rudo Neshamba and Chemhere wasting good chances, especially at the commencement of the second half, there was always lingering danger that Botswana would draw level.

However for their lack of fluidity in the second stanza, Mlauzi’s charges had character to contain their opponents.

Chronicle

They had to endure a nail-biting finale at the dead end of the contest after allowing Botswana to rally back into the match with five minutes still on the clock after Neshamba had given away possession cheaply on the flank.

It could have been difficult for Zimbabwe but goalkeeper Cynthia Shonga cleared the lines after Nobukhosi Ncube had misdirected a defensive header towards her own goal right at the death.

Mlauzi hailed his girls for their spirit.

“We managed to get an early goal which was the major advantage to us in this game. But most of the time we kept on giving Botswana some hope,” said Mlauzi.

“We made some mistakes in key areas and failed to score when we should have.

“That allowed Botswana to come back into the game but credit to the girls, they didn’t panic but we still need to improve on how we should be managing games”.

Teams

Zimbabwe

Cynthia Shonga, Daisy Kaitano, Eunice Chibanda, Purity Mugayi, Alice Moyo, Rudo Neshamba(Maudy Mafuruse 90th minute), Edline Mutumbami, Nobukhosi Ncube, Privilege Mupeti (Praynance Zvawanda 69th minute), Ennety Chemhere (Tanyaradzwa Chihoro 69th minute), Christabel Katona (Shyline Dambamuromo 86th minute)

Botswana

Lesego Moeng, Kesegofetse Mochawe, Nancy Baeletse, Masego Montsho, Lone Gaofetoge, Mokgabo Thanda (Michelle Abueng (63min), Lesego Radiakanyo(Obonetse Rathari 90th minute), Keitumetse Dithebe, Veronicah Mogotsi, Balothanyi Johannes, Gaonyadiwe Ontlametse (Lweungo Senelo 90th minute)

Chronicle

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