ZIMBABWE are in the final of the netball competition at the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games after beating Namibia 69-16 in their last round robin match played at the White City Stadium, Bulawayo, yesterday.
In their run-up to the final, Zimbabwe beat Swaziland 57-16 and Botswana 52-21, but went on to lose to South Africa 40-32. South Africa and Zimbabwe are now set to meet in the final as SA won all their matches.
On Tuesday, Jenny van Dyk predicted that they were going to play Zimbabwe in the final setting the stage for an exciting finale.
Head coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki was happy to be in the final and said it would be a different match from previous one against South Africa.
“We are happy,” he said.
“We had set a target of 70 goals, but we fell short by one goal. We are ready for South Africa tomorrow (today). It will be a new game altogether and people should brace themselves for a very tough match.”
Zimbabwe’s netball team is made up of captain Felistus Kwangwa, Patricia Mauladi, Sharon Bwanali, Mercy Mukwadi, Nomagugu Makhalima, Tasilimah Mbiba, Sanele Ncube, Chido Chiwenga, Sithembile Chitiva, Dani Haji Salma, Nyasha Kakono and Rosevelly Dube.
A number of changes were made to the team that played in the Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa matches. Mauladi who usually plays goalkeeper was shifted to centre taking over from Mbimba with Sithembile Chitiva coming is as the goalkeeper while Chido Chiwenga coming as wing attacker.
In the first quarter against Namibia, Zimbabwe finished the session 17-1 up after having defended well to keep the Namibians at bay.
The second quarter saw them increasing their tally to 35-5 proving that the Zimbabwean defence is compact. The defence seemed to slacken a bit in the two last quarters finishing 52-13 in the third session of the match.
Today Zimbabwe will be out to revenge their defeat to South Africa which a number of spectators that thronged White City yesterday believe is possible.