ZIMBABWE’S Mighty Warriors claimed an opening victory in Group C at the Cosafa Women’s Championships in South Africa yesterday thanks to a first half goal from Marjory Nyaumwe in a 1-0 success over Namibia.
It was a hard-fought clash in which both sides had opportunities to score after that, with the best falling to Zimbabwe’s usually prolific Rutendo Makore, who missed an excellent chance with the goal gaping.
Zimbabwe sit second in Group C behind East African guests Uganda, who claimed a thrilling 4-3 victory over Swaziland in their opener on Wednesday.
“We managed to maintain our defensive structure and organisation,” Zimbabwe coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda said.
“It was tough luck to Namibia, they played a great game.
“In tournaments, the most important thing is to get points and for the players to get confidence, so it is great to have started with a win. We did not play to our best, but it’s great we managed to get the points.
“I am sure we will be better in the second match.”
Zimbabwe will be back in action today when they take on Eswatini (Swaziland) in the lunch-time kick-off at 1pm, with victory giving them a chance to put the other sides in Group C under pressure.
Mpeh Bissong scored a hat-trick as Cameroon showed their potential with an 8-1 victory over Mozambique in their Group B opener in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The Cameroonians are the highest ranked team in the competition and showed all their quality in the rout, which will come as a timely reminder to their rivals that they are in South Africa to lift the trophy.
Raissa Mbappe got the scoring under way early and later added a second for her brace, but Bissong stole the show with a quality treble that showed her clinical finishing in front of goal.
It was the biggest win of the tournament so far as Cameroon also netted through Abena Ninon, Charlene Meyong and Agnes Nkada.
“It was a good match for us,” Cameroon coach Joseph Ndoko said, before adding praise for Mozambique despite the scoreline. I was very impressed with them, it shows that many other African countries are improving.
“We showed good mental strength, which we will need when we go to the African Women’s Championship (in November). We told our players in the pre-match meeting we wanted them to send a strong message about our ability for the remaining matches, even though we take them step-by-step.”
Cameroon’s fellow African Women’s Championship qualifiers Zambia cruised to a 2-0 victory over Lesotho in the other match in Group B.