By Shelly Guni
Star midfielder Emmaculate Msipa scored four times as the Mighty Warriors blew Eswatini away to set up an explosive COSAFA Women’s Championship semi-final clash against South Africa.
Winger Mavis Chirandu weighed in with a brace while Rudo Neshamba got the other goal to ensure the Mighty Warriors stayed in the hunt for their first COSAFA title since 2011.
They beat Banyana Banyana 1-0 in that final.
The win also meant Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15’’ Sibanda’s charges progressed to the knock-out stages of the tournament as Group C leaders with nine points from three matches. Msipa now sits at the top of the goal-scorers charts with six goals, one ahead of teammate Rudo Neshamba and South Africa’s Refiloe Jane, who are both tied on five goals.
“She has been splendid, she has got a great work rate. It’s game number three and I hope she carries that to the last game,” Sibanda said.
“It was a great game. We didn’t expect to score so many goals. We watched them and assessed their play and we had individuals, unfortunately, who didn’t come to the party.
“The most important thing was maintaining our structure.’’
And, what about taking on Banyana Banyana?
“One is that they are hosts and secondly they are the defending champions. It’s going to be a tough match but I’m thinking, at the end of the day, we have to devise a game plan,” she said.
“We need to measure our strength and maintain that and work on our weaknesses.
“We have an idea of how South Africa play.’’
Zimbabwe: O Chingawo, L Mutokuto, N Majika, E Msipa (M Mafusire 84th min), R Neshamba (S Nyama 78th min), S Makoto, N Ncube, T Mandaza, M Nyaumwe, M Chirandu (D Kaitano 74th min) D Bhobho
Eswatini: N aamba, T Mgcamphalala (S Magagula 72nd min) , L Dhlamini, N Sanga (M Malinga 81st min), T Dvuba, M Dube, P Dhlamini (T Dlamini 67th min), T Mbatha, N Dlamini, W Ndwandwe, S Gwebu. The Herald