Rebels dominate Bafa league, 18 games unbeaten
WITH the Olympics dream over for the gallant Mighty Warriors who put up spirited performances despite losing all their Group F matches, focus now for the girls is firmly on the next tourney, the African Women Nations Cup set for Cameroon in December.
The Mighty Warriors marked their maiden appearance at the Olympics with a 1-6 loss to world powerhouse Germany, followed by another loss to Canada, who beat them 3-1 before wrapping up their campaign with a 1-6 defeat to Australia.
All the three Group F sides except Zimbabwe, went through to the next round.
The girls, who had miserable preparations compared to all the women teams in the tournament, charmed a lot of hearts the world over, probably leaving Zifa with an egg on the face for the failure to arrange a proper training programme for the team, including any meaningful friendly match. Even with all the poor preparations compared to their fellow Southern African neighbours, Banyana Banyana, the Mighty Warriors managed to score three goals while South Africa fired blanks. However, this time around, the national association wants to avoid a similar situation and said a proper and vibrant preparatory plan will be rolled out soon.
“We would soon be rolling out a vibrant preparatory plan for the Mighty Warriors ahead of their participation in the Women Afcon finals,” said Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela.
He said despite the defeats, the association like every Zimbabwean, remained proud of the gallant Olympic debut by the Shadreck Mlauzi-coached girls.
“Despite consecutive defeats in the Olympics, we are proud of these girls for being the first Zimbabwe football team to qualify for the Olympics Games,” said Gwesela.
Meanwhile, the girls are expected back home on Saturday where a voiceferous reception shall be waiting for them at the Harare International Airport. A PROMOTION to Division Three beckons for Rebels Football Club, after they extended their unbeaten streak to 18 matches by hammering Securico 10-2 in a Bulawayo Amateur Football Association (Bafa) game played on Monday.
The Rebels are on 50 points, four points ahead of second placed Laduma FC.
It remains to be seen if they have the staying power to hold on for the remaining 12 matches of the season.
Only two out of the 16 teams get promotion from the league.
The race is still wide open because even 14th placed Anolle Castings have a long odds mathematical chance of grabbing the championship.
Having won 16 matches and drawn two, the Rebels assistant coach Basil Bhebhe said his team is determined to hold on to top position and he believes they have what it takes to go all the way without a loss.
“We want to make history by being crowned champions without losing a game. We want to continue with our streak and I believe the boys have got what it takes to continue with the unbeaten run until we reach the end.”
Bhebhe acknowledged the road ahead is still long and it won’t be an easy one.
“The future is still unpredictable, but we are going to take every match as it comes. We are going to try our best to stay at the top even though we know it won’t be easy because every team wants to win.
“We are just going to take every match as it comes and put more effort no matter how big or small our opponents are. That is our trick as a team,” said Bhebhe.
In their weekend fixtures, the Rebels earned a 2-1 victory over Dynamic Diesel. 2016 Edgars Bafa League table
Mighty Warriors players celebrate a goal against Germany at the Olympics Games Group F in Brazil