Mighty Warriors crash out

Zambia . . . . . . (1) 1
Zimbabwe . . . . . . 0

(Zambia win 2-0 on aggregate)
The Mighty Warriors failed to qualify for the 2014 African Women’s Championship after losing to Zambia in the second round, second leg at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka yesterday.

Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza. The hosts led 1-0 from the first leg in Harare. The Mighty Warriors’ failure completed a dark two weeks for Zimbabwe football after the Warriors also crashed out of the 2015 Nations Cup at the first hurdle of the qualifiers.

The loss to the Zambians also signalled a power shift in the game as the Zimbabweans had, for years, dominated their opponents from the north of the Zambezi.

A 37th minute goal by Hellen Mubanga meant that she scored in both legs to give the She-polopolo their maiden appearance at the finals tournament which this year will be hosted by Namibia from October 11 to 24.

Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza
Mubanga also contributed a goal in the 3-2 aggregate win from the first round against Tanzania.

The 2014 African Women’s Championship will be used to select teams that will qualify for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Football Association of Zambia vice-president Boniface Mwamelo congratulated the team on behalf of the Zambian football family.

“We are really gratified that we have managed to beat Zimbabwe who were a tough opponent. In the second half they attacked us but our girls were able to withstand the pressure,” Mwamelo told in a post-match interview at Nkoloma Stadium.

“To us, as FAZ, the real battle has just started, We need to start preparing now for Namibia. We have only got three months before the actual tournament, so we really need to be adequately prepared.

“If we look at the teams we are likely to meet in Namibia, these are teams of high pedigree in African soccer, so we really need to be on top of our game to ensure that we go there as real contenders instead of being mere participants.

“So once again, it’s congratulations to the girls. They have done well with the support of the Football Association of Zambia and our partners. It is a great moment because we told the nation that the girls will deliver a Golden Jubilee present and they have done it,” he said.

And head coach Charles Bwale said celebrations would last for a day after which the focus would be on preparations for the finals tournament in Namibia.

Zambia started the journey to the 2014 AWC with a 3-2 aggregate win over Tanzania following a 2-1 in Lusaka and a 1-1 draw in Dar es Saalam to book a date with Zimbabwe. — FAZ/Herald
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