Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Sikhum­buzo Moyo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

ZIFA are court­ing three coun­tries for in­ter­na­tional friendly matches as part of the Mighty War­riors’ prepa­ra­tions for the To­tal Women African Na­tions Cham­pi­onship fi­nals set for Cameroon next month.

The fi­nals will run from Novem­ber 19 to De­cem­ber 3.

Zifa com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Xolisani Gwe­sela said they had re­quested Zam­bia, Tan­za­nia and Kenya for friendlies and were hope­ful of favourable re­sponses.

“Let­ters have al­ready been dis­patched to the three coun­tries and our hope is that at least two of them agree, but if all ac­cede, the bet­ter for our girls,” said Gwe­sela.

He said plans were also in place for the girls to play a friendly match in Cameroon just be­fore the tour­na­ment roars into life.

Ac­cord­ing to Gwe­sela, the Mighty War­riors are ten­ta­tively ex­pected to fly to Yaoundé on Novem­ber 12 and have a week to ac­cli­ma­tise be­fore their first game of the jam­boree in Group A against neigh­bours South Africa on Novem­ber 19.

Their next match will be on Novem­ber 22 against Egypt be­fore wrap­ping up the group matches against hosts Cameroon, a team they beat 2-1 on ag­gre­gate to qual­ify for their maiden Olympic Games ap­pear­ance.

The top two in each of the two groups will progress to the semi-fi­nals, with the win­ner of Group A fac­ing Group B run­ners-up and vice-versa in the semi-fi­nals set for Novem­ber 29.

De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Nige­ria, who have qual­i­fied for all pre­vi­ous fi­nals since 1991, are in Group A and favourites to top the group, set­ting the stage for a fierce top place fin­ish in Group B to avoid meet­ing the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons.

Zim­babwe are mak­ing their fourth ap­pear­ance at the fi­nals and their best per­for­mance was a fourth­place fin­ish in 2000 in South Africa af­ter los­ing 0-6 to Nige­ria in the semis. Their quest for bronze was dashed by Ghana, who beat the Mighty War­riors 3-6 in the third-place play-off.

Xolisani Gwe­sela

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