Mighty War­riors in do or die en­counter against Malawi

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Soccer Cricket Sport - Ngqwele Dube/Sikhum­buzo Moyo

ZIM­BABWE face Malawi in a must-win en­counter at Lu­veve Sta­dium this af­ter­noon if they are to en­ter­tain any hopes of lift­ing the 2017 Cosafa Women’s Cham­pi­onships.

The Mighty War­riors top Group A and they have to main­tain that po­si­tion for them to qual­ify as the group win­ners but they would still be el­i­gi­ble to pro­ceed if they end the group stages as the best run­ners up.

The ta­ble top­pers of the three groups will qual­ify for the semi-fi­nals to­gether with the best run­ner up. Mighty War­riors coach, Si­thethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda (pic­tured) is not lost on the task at hand and is aware only a high scor­ing win will give them joy as Zam­bia is likely to “mas­sacre” min­nows Mada­gas­car at the other Group A match that will be played at the same time at Bar­bour­fields.

Speak­ing af­ter the draw against Zam­bia on Fri­day, Kwinji said they are still in line to achieve their ob­jec­tive fol­low­ing their 1-1 draw against their north­ern neigh­bours. She said while she has not yet seen Malawi play­ing they would be go­ing back to the draw­ing board with vic­tory in mind.

“Af­ter get­ting a point from to­day’s game, we are on course to achiev­ing our ob­jec­tive of reach­ing the fi­nal. It will be a dif­fer­ent ball game when we face Malawi on Sun­day but like other matches we have to pre­pare well and en­sure that we de­liver,” said Sibanda.

A goal dif­fer­ence of one sep­a­rates Zam­bia and Zim­babwe at the top of Group A as both sides have four points go­ing into to­day’s fi­nal group games. Malawi have showed they are not pushovers, hav­ing scored three against Zam­bia de­spite con­ced­ing six goals in their open­ing game.

On Fri­day they hit Mada­gas­car for six al­though they also al­lowed three in. Zim­babwe’s de­fence will have to be at their best to thwart Malawi’s at­tack and en­sure they win by a wide mar­gin. Sibanda called on lo­cal sup­port­ers to come in their num­bers and play the role of the 12th man in the de­cider.

Mean­while, for­mer Mighty War­riors striker Pre­cious “Gringo” Mpala has called for to­tal con­cen­tra­tion and ad­her­ence to pre match tac­tics. In an in­ter­view from her base in South Africa, the for­mer fiery for­ward, who made her na­tional team de­but back in 1999, said she had all the be­lief in the girls and that coach “Kwinji 15”, who she played to­gether in the na­tional team, has the tech­ni­cal pedi­gree to lead the na­tion to glory.

She also called on the fans to come in their num­bers and rally be­hind the squad as they seek to lift their sec­ond Cosafa Cham­pi­onship ti­tle, hav­ing lifted their maiden ti­tle in 2011 when they beat South Africa 1-0 in Harare.

Cosafa Women’s Cham­pi­onship re­sults from yes­ter­day Kenya 11-0 Mau­ri­tius, Le­sotho 0-3 Botswana, Mozam­bique 2-2 Swazi­land

Fix­tures To­day: Zam­bia vs Mada­gas­car (14h00), Namibia vs Le­sotho (16h30) (Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium) Zim­babwe vs Malawi (14h00), South Africa vs Botswana (16h30) (Lu­veve Sta­dium)

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