ZIMBABWE claimed an opening victory in Group C of the Cosafa Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth yesterday thanks to a first-half goal from Marjory Nyaumwe in a 1-0 success over Namibia.
It was a hard-fought clash in which both sides had opportunities to score after that, with the best falling to Zimbabwe’s usually prolific Rutendo Makore, who missed an excellent chance with the goal gaping.
Zimbabwe sit second in Group C behind East African guest nation Uganda, who claimed a thrilling 4-3 victory over Swaziland in their opener on Wednesday.
“We managed to maintain our defensive structure and organisation,” Zimbabwe coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda said. “It was tough luck to Namibia, they played a great game.
“In tournaments, the most important thing is to get points and for the players to get confidence, so it is great to have started with a win. We did not play to our best, but it’s great we managed to get the points. I am sure we will be better in the second match.”
There will be a potential Group A decider when the action resumes today as hosts South Africa take on Botswana.
Both sides won their opening games on Wednesday and will be favourites to top the pool and advance automatically to the semi-finals.
Madagascar will play Malawi in the early kick-off as those two sides look to stay in contention for the second round.
It is a must-win game for both sides, with a draw favouring neither and a loss almost certainly sending the vanquished home after the first round.
Zimbabwe will be back in action when they take on Eswatini in the lunch-time kick-off, with victory giving them a chance to put the other sides in Group C under pressure.
All the games will be played at the Wolfson Stadium.
Zimbabwe 1 (Marjory Nyaumwe)
Cameroon 8 (Raissa Mbappe 2, Mpeh Bissong 3, Abena Ninon, Charlene Meyong, Agnes Nkada)
Mozambique 1 (Cidalia Cuta)
Zambia 2 (Misozi Zulu, Barbra Banda)
– Cosafa. The Chronicle.