BULAWAYO women football giants Inline Academy have what looks like an easy assignment when they take on Auckland Queens at Jumbo Stadium in Mazowe in the quarter-finals of the NetOne Charity Shield knockout tournament tomorrow.
Inline welcome back striker Rudo Neshamba, defenders Sicelo Dube and Nobuhle Majika who were with the Mighty Warriors in Egypt last week as they seek to beat Auckland away from home.
The Bulawayo side received a bye to the last-eight stage while Auckland beat Conduit Queens in Mazowe last Saturday to cruise through to the quarter-finals.
Auckland had played a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time and powered to victory in extra time.
Shadreck Mlauzi, Inline coach is wary of Auckland, a team that he says he doesn’t know and his girls have been out of action for a long time as the Zimbabwe National Women Super League was not in action last year, “We are up against debutants and we don’t know what to expect.
“This match comes when we are starting from zero as we are in preseason. We are, however, hoping to play good football and we have high expectations from the girls. We hope to pull through to the next stage,” Mlauzi said.
New Orleans, who dismissed Barrow Jets Queens 3-0 last week have a tough encounter in the quarter-finals as they lock horns with Black Rhinos at Barbourfields Stadium and will be banking on home advantage to upstage the Harare side, who also received a bye.
Yolanda Tshuma, Abigail Tawanda and Nomsa Moyo scored against Barrow Jets and New Orleans welcome back Nokuthula Ndlovu from the Mighty Warriors.
They will be without coach Micky Mugadza and Tobias Mudyambanje will be in charge.
Mudyambanje said he had a relatively young crop of girls who would be playing against experienced players, but he was hoping to pull through.
“We have young girls who are promising and we will take it step by step. There was not league last year and this is a new beginning.
The only information we have about our opponents is players that have been with the national team,” Mudyambanje said.
Flame Lily, who beat Aces Academy 4-1 in extra time at Rufaro last week, meet Cyclone Stars in the other quarter-final tie at Rufaro tomorrow while Tenax Queens host Mufakose Queens in Mutare.