By Chipo Sabeta in BULAWAYO
Mighty Warriors coach, Sithethelelwe ‘’Kwinji 15’’ Sibanda, says her troops played a perfect game as they destroyed Madagascar 4-0 in their opening 2017 COSAFA Women Championships group match at Barbourfields yesterday.
Striker Rutendo Makore scored all the goals. “It was a good start, a perfect start for us. The team is a mixture of youth and experience and the victory relieves pressure on them,’’ said Sibanda. “To play the first game and then win with a good result, to score many goals, to finish the game with a clean sheet.
“I rarely single out any player but Rutendo was on top of her game and I am happy when a striker performs that way. She is a player with a positive attitude and that what we wanted upfront.
“I saw a lot of positive things but we don’t need to be carried away. This is the beginning and we have a long way to go. We have to continue, we have to rest tomorrow and start to think about the next game.”
The Mighty Warriors will face Zambia tomorrow in a potentially explosive encounter but Sibanda says she will take each game as it comes.
The Zambians thumped Malawi 6-3 in their tournament opener.
“We have played Zambia before, in different competitions but this is a fresh game and we are going to work hard,’’ the coach said. “Why do we have to single out certain teams? We are facing Zambia and we are ready for them.
“I watched their opening game and we are prepared to face any team. We were in camp preparing for such a competition and I don’t want to put my girls under so much pressure. “We will take each game as it comes.’’
Meanwhile, Madagascar coach Joharinirina Rakotomalala blamed his side’s complacency but is keen on an improved performance when they face Malawi. “We managed to contain Zimbabwe in the first half but we lost concentration. We were disjointed and gave away possession.
“The goal comes from the crosses and we didn’t defend well. We are hoping for an improved performance against Malawi. We want to do better than today’s performance,” he said.
The Mighty Warriors, who are among the pre-tournament favourites, could have won by a bigger margin were it not for the brilliance of Madagascar goalkeeper Verosantatartra Diana Andrianandrasana who was outstanding in the first half. The Herald