By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
The Mighty Warriors flew out of the country yesterday headed for Namibia where they are set to face the host nation tomorrow in the first leg of the Africa Women Cup of Nations first round qualifier without their Spanish based striker, Rutendo Makore.
The hard running goal getter, who plays for Sporting Club Huelva in Spain’s Liga Feminina, sustained an ankle injury while on club duty but was expected to pass a fitness test yesterday before flying out straight to Namibia to meet up with her colleagues.Mighty Warriors’ head coach Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15’ Sibanda confirmed the setback but remained positive that the players at her disposal will deliver to expectations.
“It’s a fact that Rutendo is a vital member of the team but we believe the girls that we have will give it their best,” said Sibanda.
The return leg is set for Rufaro Stadium on April 8 with the winner set to meet either Zambia or Tanzania in the second and final round of qualifiers for the final tournament to be played in Ghana from November 17 to December 1 this year.
Sibanda said their objective in Namibia will be to avoid conceding so as not to put pressure on themselves ahead of the return leg.
“We need to try as much as possible to avoid conceding in Namibia and also if possible we should get ourselves an away goal which will indeed ease our chances of going through,” she said.
The Mighty Warriors have been in camp for two weeks preparing for the qualifiers but the coaches were a bit worried about the fitness levels due to lack of game time for most of the players as the Zimbabwean league had not kicked off.“Despite those concerns about fitness levels as well as lack of game time, the response from the girls while in camp was top notch, it was great indeed,” said Sibanda.
Mighty Warriors squad
Goalkeepers: Chido Dzingirai (Correctional Queens), Manyara Mandara (Mwenezana Queens)
Defenders: Nobuhle Majika (Inline Academy), Nobukhosi Ncube (New Orleans Queens), Sheila Makoto (Blue Swallows Queens), Lynett Mutokuto (Black Rhinos Queens), Edline Mutumbami (Blue Swallows Queens),
Midfielders: Talent Mandaza © (Black Rhinos Queens), Daisy Kaitano (Black Rhinos Queens), Marjory Nyaumwe (Correctional Queens), Emmaculate Msipa (Black Rhinos Queens), Mavis Chirandu (Black Rhinos Queens). Felistas Muzongondi (Black Rhinos Queens), Berita Kabwe (Correctional Queens)
Strikers: Maudy Mafuruse (Faith Drive Queens), Susan Nyama (Herentals Queens), Erina Jeke (Correctional Queens), Vimbai Mharadzi (Blue Swallows Queens).