By Perkins-Tino Bare.
Harare. (News Of The South) – Zimbabwe`s National Women`s Football team the Mighty Warriors made history as they became the first team to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics to e held in Rio Da Janeiro next year in Brazil,. The Mighty warriors need to beat Cameroon 1-0 in the 2nd leg played at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
Going into the second trailing after having lost the 1st leg 2-1, The mighty Warriors needed to beat Cameroon 1-0 to book their place at the Olympics and Rudo Neshamba provided that erly goal to settle the nerves of the girls. It was vital that the goal cam in early because what it then did was that it settled the nerves of the girls who knew they were just on the brink of making history.
It was important that we went to the break leading yesterday meaning that as they came out for the second half they did not necessarily have to go all out but all they needed was to stay deep within their own half and protect that lead and then hope to catch Cameroon on the counter.
Even as Cameroon kept looking for that equaliser in the secod half the girl;s just kept growing in confidence as they knew that with each passing minute Rio was drawing closer.
Rudo Neshamba, who got the goal inside eight minutes, could not hide her excitement: “This is what many teams have long dreamed of, but never achieved. I can’t quite explain how I’m feeling at the moment,” Neshamba said before she broke down in tears. “This means so much to the team and our supporters, we are really excited,” she said in a post match interview with a local daily.
“This is what many teams have long dreamed of, but never achieved. I can’t quite explain how I’m feeling at the moment,” Neshamba said before she broke down in tears. “This means so much to the team and our supporters, we are really excited,” she added.
The new Mighty Warriors Coach Shadreck Mlauzi, who was virtually unknown going into this encounter also added that he was indeed impressed with the performance of the team on the day. It had been a couple of weeks since the coach took over and the main worry was if he had had enough time to get the right combinations into place.
This is what I said when I came that I’m a man for the big occasion and look what has happened. We have made history, but everything comes down to planning. I want to thank the Lord for guiding us and also my fellow technical team members and the players for being thorough and professional in achieving this,” Mlauzi said in an post-match interview with a local daily.
Their captain Felistas Muzongondi was also in buoyant mood as she said: “What can I say, really? One can’t get a better feeling than this. It was written in the stars that we will qualify. I told the girls to push for this and I should thank them and the coaches for making this a reality, but most importantly our God who makes all things possible” she said in an interview.
In as much as this is a national victory credit has to be given to the girls themselves for really representing us and making us all proud. It was not a smooth ride for the team as along the way they had to overcome a host of obstacles. They had to be bailed out at some point by Prophet Magaya and they were almost banned in the process after failing to fulfil their encounter against Cote D`Ivoire.
The return leg was then ordered to be played and the team was said to be living under unbearable conditions over at ZIFA Village but they kept on pressing and here they are . Zifa never really gave them enough support and these girls really have to be proud of themselves for pulling this off by their own strength and fighting like real warriors both on and off the field of play. Without the backing of the administrators and this one is really has been a fairytale ride for the girls.
Credit also has to be given to the outgoing coach Rosemary Mugadza who made us all see that we had a really good team in the Mighty Warriors. She was the one that literally resurrected this whole team and was at the forefront at when the Mighty Warriors were going through that resurgence. This team is all but a product of Rosemary Mugadza and goign forward in the preparations for the games starting on the 5th of August next year.
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