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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Mighty Warriors’ triumphant return

Story by Lawrence Trusida

THE Mighty Warriors signalled their return to international football with a one-nil victory over Lesotho at the ongoing COSAFA Women’s Championship in Pretoria, South Africa.

Substitute, Privilege Mupeti was the heroine of the day after she rose from the bench to give Zimbabwe a one-nil victory over a determined Lesotho at a very hot Lucas Moripe stadium.

Zimbabwe, parading some of their future stars, started a bit jittery on their return to international football following an 18-month suspension by FIFA.

18-year-old midfielder Tanyaradzwa Chihoro showed great composure and flashes of brilliance on her senior national team debut before being replaced at the breather.

The second half saw another youngster and attacking midfielder Ennet Chemhere being introduced and showing off some fancy footwork.

It was, however, the battle-hardened Mupeti who scored the decisive goal for Zimbabwe in the 57th minute after Lesotho had remained resolute.

Before that, captain Rudo Neshamba who seemed a touch slower, missed a great chance in the 30th minute, while speedy Christabel Katona also failed to compose herself twice after finding herself with acres of space.

The victory pleased coach, Shadreck Mlauzi who is looking to build a side for the future.

“The result is good, we are happy but I believe we could have done better in certain instances, again, we have to be realistic when we were not playing, others were busy improving. So, we are playing catch up but starting a tournament with a victory is good because it gives you confidence,” said Mlauzi.

His Lesotho Colleague believes they were the better team.

“I thought we played better than Zimbabwe, although we did not create chances, but we still have six points to play for,” said Lesotho coach, Pule Khojane.

COSAFA Women’s Championship action moves from Pretoria to Johannesburg this Saturday with two matches slated for Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.

In the first match, Group A leaders Malawi take on Eswatini at midday before hosts South Africa who are looking to bounce back to winning ways face Madagascar at 3 pm.

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