By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
THE Mighty Warriors’ quest for a second Cosafa Cup title gets underway this morning when they take on Namibia in their Group C opener in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The Mighty Warriors last lifted the regional cup on home soil in 2011 and will be hoping to get off to a good start.
After their opening match this morning, Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda’s girls will be back in action tomorrow against Eswatini (1PM) before rounding up their group matches on September 17 against East African guest nation Uganda.
Zimbabwe, were runners-up in 2017 on home soil and have always been a competitive side, but only broke their duck in the competition in 2011.
They reached the final in the inaugural competition in 2002, but lost 1-2 to South Africa in the decider in Harare.
They had stormed into the final with four straight wins in which they scored a staggering 36 goals, including a competition record 15-0 victory over Lesotho in the opener.
They finished top of their pool again in 2006 after two matches against their only pool opponent, Angola, but came unstuck in the semi-finals following a 1-4 loss to South Africa. They were beaten to third place by Zambia when they went down 1-2 in the bronze medal match.
The 2008 championship in Angola provided little joy, but they finally lifted the trophy in 2011 when they proved a dominant force again by beating South Africa 1-0 in the final.
They could not quite repeat that feat in Bulawayo in 2017 as they were runners-up in their pool with victory over Madagascar (4-0) and draws with Zambia (1-1) and Malawi (3-3), before walloping East African guest nation Kenya 4-0 in the semi-finals.
That set up a final against South Africa, but the Mighty Warriors finished on the losing side by a 2-1 score line. The Chronicle.