Mighty Warriors face Germany at Olympics
THE Mighty Warriors get their historic campaign at the Rio Olympic Games with a match against twotime World Cup champions Germany in Group F at the Corinthians Arena, Sao Paulo, tomorrow.
The match gets underway at 11PM Zimbabwean time.
Zimbabwe go into the match with all odds against them, ranked at number 93 while their Germany counterparts are ranked second in the world.
On Friday Zimbabwe lost 0-3 to China in a friendly match in Sao Paulo.
China got their goals Yang Li, who scored a brace, and Wang Shanshan.
The game was their final preparatory match just before the football tournament bursts into life tomorrow.
Mlauzi yesterday said the friendly tie against China helped them identify some areas they need to work on.
“It was quite a good game, good experience. It was our first time to play a 12th ranked team. So it was always going to be a tall order but we were flowing, fitting in although the guys were still nervous.
“But after 20 minutes we managed to fit in and then we managed to match them.
“Obviously,Obviously, the physical difference was also a factor thatt contributed because we were not able during ring that time to deal with crosses thatt came into our box and defend.
“So So those are the areas we have been en trying to work on starting with h the game against Germany on Wednesday.
“As As I was saying the guys werere a bit nervous in the first 20 minutes of the game against China. ina. So it was a lesson learnt thatt at this level we cannot afford ord to have those lapses.
“And And it’s important that we are well focused from the startrt so that we are able to play ourr own Mighty Warriors way of playingying the game,” said Mlauzi.
Zimbabwe’s second game is againstainst Canada on S a turdayt u rd a y and d they complete the group games against Australia on August 9.
Speaking just before their departure to Brazil, Mighty Warriors assistant coach Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda said the Zimbabweans will not be in Brazil to add numbers.
“We are going to Rio to compete I must say because I believe nowadays football is about modern tactics.
“All those tactics used by any other country, be it the European countries, it’s the same tactics that we employ.
“I would say, yes, we are a small nation. We have not been there, we are inexperienced but we are going to Rio to compete really not just to make numbers,” said Sibanda.
Germany won the World Cup in 2003 and in 2007 while Zimbabwe has never qualified for the World Cup.
They have been to the Olympics several times winning three bronze medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
But they were unable to qualify in 2012 for the Games in London.
Zimbabwe will be making their maiden appearance at the global sporting showpiece.
The Mighty Warriors wrote their own piece of history by becoming the first football team from this country to qualify for the Olympic Games when they beat Cameroon in the last qualifying round of the qualifiers last October. They are one of the two African cou countries representing the continent in Brazil. The other country is South A Africa, who are in Group E togethe together with Brazil, China and Sweden.
Colombia, France, New Z Zealand and USA makes up Group G.