Zimbabwe ………………………….. 0
South Africa…………………… (1) 3
The Mighty Warriors got a reality check just nine days before their first match against South Africa in the Africa Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon when they were outclassed in all aspects by the same opponent in a friendly international at the National Sports Stadium yesterday.
The hosts had no chance against their neighbours who were better prepared and conditioned. However, Zimbabwe coach Shadreck Mlauzi said he will not read a lot into the result considering he did not field his strongest squad.
Mlauzi rested key midfielder Marjoury Nyaumwe while other regular players like midfielder and vice-skipper Emma Msipa, strikers Rutendo Makore and Kuda Basopo and defenders Eunice Chibanda and Sheila Makoto only came in the second period.
“Tactically, I think we were not spot on today. We tried to fuse experienced and a bit of inexperienced guys, at the end of the day the inexperienced guys did not give us what we want,” said Mlauzi.
“Our team shape was too open so at the end of the day these are the things we need to work on.
“Of course, we did not start with our best possible starting 11, so we will not read too much into it, we are going to work on it.
“The approach will definitely change. Most of the time we have played with a 4-3-2-1 formation, today we tried to work on a rather 4-4-2-1 formation.”
The team could not even get motivation from the Warriors who were also part of the paltry crowd which watched the match.
“We were up against a team that is tactically well disciplined, very good on and off the ball but at the same time it is important that we work on these areas against such a good team,” said Mlauzi.
“Our attacks easily broke down because of the tactical defensive discipline of the opposition.
“So these are the areas that we need to work on.
“Again you could see the difference in terms of fitness, our girls were quite far off against a team that has been preparing for quite some time.
“We will try our best. These are the conditions that we have had to work under.” Banyana Banyana forward Thembi Kgatlana grabbed a brace as the heavens opened up in the second half.
South Africa winger Leandra Smeda inflicted more pain when she drove into acres of space to beat goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai who had come off the line. Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said the victory means nothing.
“This game means nothing, it is finished. We know what is going to happen at the Africa Women Cup of Nations, it is going to be a completely different game,” she said.
Winners of the tournament will get just $80 000 while only one television company has committed itself to broadcast the tourney and will just focus on the hosts Cameroon.
Zimbabwe: C. Dzingirai, N. Majika, R. Mutyavaviri (S. Makoto), P. Mujuru, , N. Ncube, T. Mandaza (S. Moyo 46th min, A. Bhamu (E. Msipa 46th minute), F. Muzongondi, M. Chirandu (E. Chibanda), B. Kabwe (R. Makore 46th min), M. Mafuruse (K. Basopo).
South Africa: A. Dlamini, J. Wyk, N. Vilakazi, L. Motlhalis, T. Kgatlana, B. Mbane, R. Ojane, L. Smeda, N. Nyandeni, O. Nogwanya. The Herald