Rutendo Makore on the brink of history
MADAGASCAR, Zambia and Malawi all failed to find a solution for her.
Can long-time rivals Banyana Banyana of South Africa contain the marauding Rutendo “Madzimai” Makore in today’s Cosafa Women’s Championship final?
Or they will just be another victim of this lioness?
Defending champions Zimbabwe face South Africa at Barbourfields in a repeat of the 2011 final which the Mighty Warriors won, thanks to Makore.
The Mighty Warriors striker has been a thorn in the flesh at the COSAFA Women Championships where she has proven to be quite the unstoppable force.
On nine goals, Makore is the tournament’s joint top scorer along with Malawian twins Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga.
And the Black Rhinos Queens star still wants more.
“Nine goals are good but I want more and I will bring my A game on Sunday (today),” declared Makore.
“The plan is just to put in 110 percent focus because we cannot afford to lose, we are simply in this to win it.”
Makore’s late father, Kudakwashe Masumbuko, was a decent football player who turned out for Mhangura and Amazulu while her mother was a netballer.
Rutendo chose to follow in her father’s footsteps.
She has since decided to dedicate this Cosafa Championships to her late father.
“My father passed on in 1999 when I was six years old, so I never really knew my father’s love.
“My mother played a big role in my life because she was both the father and the mother to three girls but unfortunately my youngest sister passed on.
“So I want to appease my father’s spirit and wish by winning the Cosafa Cup,” revealed Makore.
Her feat in Bulawayo has taken her past Rufaro Machingura, who scored eight at the last championships held in Zimbabwe six years ago.
In all this glitz, the Norton-bred Makore has kept her feet on the ground.
She is not getting ahead of herself as another piece of history beckons for the Mighty Warriors.
“I feel so humbled to have taken my team this far but I don’t want to take all the credit because it was all teamwork.
“All the Mighty Warriors should also be applauded.”
Makore believes home advantage will sway today’s final in favour of the Mighty Warriors.
“We want to make use of home advantage and make an impact. Personally, I think this is a chance for me to shine and I believe this could be my biggest break,” she said.
“We have faced South Africa before with varying degrees of success but like we did with other opponents, we need to beat them and reclaim our tittle once again and I think the team is ready,” she said. Off the field, Makore is a fashionista. She enjoys shopping and follows the latest fashion trends on every social network. “Yes, I play soccer but I am a girl and people just have the mentality that all ladies who play soccer look and behave like men but I like having the latest fashion.
“Even if it means shopping around the whole day I can do it with no regrets,” Makore said.
Just like most soccer stars, the Norton-based player wishes to put the country on the map by playing for European clubs.
“Playing for the Mighty Warriors is a big deal but it’s not my biggest break. “I want more.” “And being in the national team is the best way to be noticed, showcase your talent and to prove yourself.”
Makore scored all four goals as Zimbabwe beat Madagascar in their group opener before her solitary strike earned the Mighty Warriors a 1-1 draw against Zambia.
She was at her lethal best once again as her hat-trick saved Zimbabwe from defeat against Malawi in a game that ended 3-3.
Zimbabwe met Kenya in the semis last Thursday and Makore was on target again as the Mighty Warriors thumped the East Africans 4-0 on their way to today’s final.
Marjory Nyaumwe, Berita Kabwe and Privilege Mupeti were also scored against Kenya.
And today, Zimbabwe come face to face with old rivals South Africa once again hoping to repeat the 2011 achievement when the Mighty Warriors won 1-0 in the final.
Banyana remain the most successful team at the Cosafa Championships having won the tournament in 2002, 2006 and 2008.
To become the new top scorer, the Norton-based striker only needs three goals.
Rutendo Makore (No. 15) tussles for possession with Kenya’s Juliet Andibo(No. 3) during the Mighty Warriors 4-0 win over the East Africans. INSETS: Rutendo the fashionista