By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
MIGHTY Warriors striker Rudo Neshamba returned to national team colours in dramatic fashion by grabbing a hat-trick against Angola in their Cosafa 2019 Group C opener at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa yesterday.
The former Inline Academy striker struck in the 35th, 45th and 61st minutes to add to Emmaculate Msipa’s 34th minute opener.
“I didn’t expect much from the game considering that it’s my first game in two years. I last played for the national side at the Olympics,” said Neshamba, speaking to SuperSport in a post-match interview.
She said it was important to get maximum points in their opener to settle their nerves.
“We could have won by a wide margin, we missed a lot of chances, especially in the first half. We need to make sure that we bury such chances in our next game,” she said.
Head coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda praised the girls for a disciplined performance, but also bemoaned the number of missed chances in the game.
“It was a balanced match although we created and missed a lot of chances, but we were good in terms of our defensive organisation.
“Our game plan though was to get an early goal and unsettle the Angolans, who I must say are a good side, and once that goal came, we destabilised them,” Sibanda said.
The Mighty Warriors take on Mozambique in their next match and Sibanda said they need to improve on their reaction with the ball while also keeping their tactical shape.
Meanwhile, Zifa has appealed to the corporate world to support the development of women’s football in the country to empower the girl child.
“The current Zifa executive committee takes pride in the empowerment of women, hence the two teams participating in the Cosafa Women’s competitions.
“Despite financial challenges, the board is committed to the growth and development of the game. We urge corporate partners to support the girl child,” said Zifa in statement yesterday.
The Zimbabwe Under-20 women side takes on hosts South Africa this afternoon. The Chronicle