Mighty War­riors face Ger­many at Olympics

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - El­lina Mh­langa

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.

Shadreck Mlauzi

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