Rude awak­en­ing for Mighty War­riors

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Harare Bureau

Zim­babwe 0 - 3 South Africa THE Mighty War­riors got a re­al­ity check nine days be­fore their first match against South Africa in the Africa Women Cup of Na­tions in Cameroon when they were out­classed in all as­pects by the same op­po­nent in a friendly match at Na­tional Sports Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

The hosts stood no chance with their neigh­bours who were bet­ter pre­pared and con­di­tioned in this prac­tice match.

How­ever, Zim­babwe women’s soc­cer team coach Shadreck Mlauzi said he will not read much into the prac­tice match con­sid­er­ing that he did not field his strong­est squad.

Mlauzi rested key mid­fielder Mar­joury Nyaumwe while other reg­u­lar play­ers like mid­fielder and vice skip­per Emma Msipa, strik­ers Ru­tendo Makore and Kuda Ba­sopo and de­fend­ers Eu­nice Chibanda and Sheila Makoto only came in the sec­ond pe­riod.

“Tac­ti­cally, I think we were not spot on today. We tried to fuse ex­pe­ri­enced and in­ex­pe­ri­enced guys and at the end of the day, the in­ex­pe­ri­enced guys did not give us what we want and we felt that in our tac­ti­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion today (yes­ter­day), we were rather too lose. Our team shape was too open so at the end of the day these are the things we need to work on.

“Of course, we did not start with our best pos­si­ble start­ing 11, so we will not read too much into it as we are go­ing to work on it.

“The ap­proach will def­i­nitely change. Most of the times we have played with a 4-3-2-1 for­ma­tion, today we tried to work on a rather 4-4- 2-1 for­ma­tion,” he said.

The team could not even get some mo­ti­va­tion from the War­riors who were also part of the pal­try crowd which watched the match.

The team were a shadow of the Mighty War­riors who al­ways com­pete when­ever they en­gage their neigh­bours. The coach con­ceded he still had a lot work to do be­fore the first match in Yaounde on Novem­ber 19.

“We were up against a team that is tac­ti­cally well dis­ci­plined, very good on and off the runs but at the same time it is im­por­tant that we work on these ar­eas against such a good team and de­fen­sively, we need to be a lit­tle bet­ter in terms of our of­fen­sive pat­terns as well, that is where we re­ally fell short.

“Our at­tacks’ eas­ily broke down be­cause of the tac­ti­cal de­fen­sive dis­ci­pline of the op­po­si­tion. So these are the ar­eas that we need to work on.

“Again you could see the dif­fer­ence in terms of fit­ness, our girls were quite far off against a team that has been prepar­ing for quite some time.

“We will try our best. These are the con­di­tions that we have had to work un­der.

“So we will try to, in the re­main­ing few days left, try to do in­te­grate train­ing ses­sions, work on fit­ness and at the same time work on tech­ni­cal and tac­ti­cal as­pects,” said Mlauzi.

Banyana Banyana for­ward Thembi Kgat­lana grabbed a brace as the heav­ens opened up soak­ing the play­ers the bet­ter part of the sec­ond half.

The for­ward, who was trou­bling Zim­babwe’s de­fence scored af­ter 15 min­utes be­fore she re­turned to haunt the hosts de­fence 10 min­utes af­ter restart.

South Africa winger Le­an­dra Smeda in­flicted more pain when she beat goal­keeper Chido Dzin­gi­rai who had come off the line.

But Banyana Banyana coach De­siree El­lis said the vic­tory means noth­ing.

“This game means noth­ing, it is ended. We know what is go­ing to hap­pen at the Africa Women Cup of Na­tions, it is go­ing to be a com­pletely dif­fer­ent game but we just need to pre­pare bet­ter,” she said.

Just like Zim­babwe, South Africa were play­ing their sec­ond friendly match since re­turn­ing from Rio in Au­gust.

Coin­ci­den­tally, they also played Egypt in a prac­tice match in Jo­han­nes­burg barely two weeks ago.

The Mighty War­riors were also in­volved with the North Africans here in Septem­ber. Egypt and hosts Cameroon com­plete Group A which has the two south­ern re­gion teams.

“We use this as prepa­ra­tion be­cause this is only our sec­ond match since the Olympics and we have only been in camp since the 16th of Oc­to­ber for one week, and then we came in on the 7th of Novem­ber but there has been an im­prove­ment and hope­fully we can even im­prove even more by the time we get to the Africa Women Cup of Na­tions.

“Our first train­ing was the 16th of Oc­to­ber and we were a bit con­cerned but we have been work­ing very hard with our con­di­tion­ing,” said El­lis.

Mighty War­riors skip­per Tal­ent Man­daza and Banyana Banyana striker Oc­tavia Nog­wanya bat­tle for the ball in a friendly at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium in Harare yes­ter­day, while Nobuhle Ma­jika and Ru­vimbo Mutyavaviri (right) look on

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.