ZIMBABWE senior women’s football team put themselves in a very good position to qualify for the All-Africa Games after a gallant performance in the first leg against fancied Ghana away in Accra over the weekend.
The Mighty Warriors lost the match 1-2, but would be looking to build on the priceless away goal they scored to progress to the finals to be hosted by the Democratic Republic of Congo in September.
Midfielder Emmaculate Msipa scored for Zimbabwe, a goal that could prove very decisive when the two teams meet for the reverse match in Harare in a fortnight’s time.
Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza said she was almost certain that her team would progress to the finals at the expense of the “overrated” Black Queens.
She said the Mighty Warriors, who now need at least a 1-0 win to seal qualification at home, will take full advantage of their away goal.
“I don’t think the Black Queens are as solid as everyone predicted them to be. I must say I am happy with my players and the way they managed to respond to the early pressure from Ghana,” Mugadza told reporters after the match.
Agnes Aduako opened the scoring for Ghana just before the hour mark before substitute Samira Suleman looked as if she had put the game to bed five minutes after the break, but Msipa made sure that the tie remained well poised ahead of the second leg when she struck from a free-kick.
”The goal is very good for us because the team is confident of scoring more in the second leg. We should have picked a point from this game but my players were goal shy today – something I know will not repeat itself in Harare,” Mugadza said.
Meanwhile, Black Queens coach Yussif Basigi was keeping calm despite his side failing to get a convincing advantage.
“We went into this match with one sole aim to win and nothing else. It was a very tough game. They were tactically disciplined and maintained their focus throughout the game,” Basigi said.
“In as much as we did not get the result we expected, I still think we could go all the way to Zimbabwe and beat them to qualify. Now that we have achieved that (winning), we need to sit down and look at the positives as well as the negatives and work on them before the second leg. We still have an advantage going into the second leg, so it is very possible to beat them at their own backyard. I strongly believe we can qualify for the All-Africa Games,” he added.
To qualify, Ghana must simply avoid defeat.