A spectacular 46th minute header from Erina Jeke was enough to send the Mighty Warriors in frenzy and give them the advantage ahead of the second meeting at Rufaro Stadium in two weeks time.
A few seconds after the resumption of the second half, Talent Mandaza teased her marker on the right flank and sent a high searching cross which Jeke met with a powerful header outside the box beating the Zebras goalkeeper all systems out.
The goal sent the small band of Zimbabwean supporters celebrating in a match that attracted a capacity crowd as football is on a high in Botswana following the qualification of their men’s team to the African Cup of Nations finals for the first time.
The Mighty Warriors and the Zebras will meet again in the second leg on January 28 at the astro turf Rufaro Stadium which the visitors should find uncomfortable to play in as they are used to playing on grass.
The winner of the two legged tie will meet the Super Falcons of Nigeria who are on by virtue of their high ranking in African women’s football. The Super Falcons are Africa’s top ranked women’s team ahead of Ghana and the Equatorial Guinea.
Should the Mighty Warriors prevail over Botswana they will be presented with the opportunity to break the ice as Zimbabwe national teams have not beaten Nigerian in any form of football since Zimbabwe was admitted to international sport in 1980.
The only win Zimbabwe can boast of over a Nigerian football team was at club level when Dynamos beat Eagle Cement home and away on their way to the final of the 1998 Caf African Champions League.
The Mighty Warriors last qualified for the African Women’s Championships in 2009 in South Africa where despite beating the hosts Banyana Banyana 2-1 and drawing 1-1 with Ethiopia were still eliminated from the first round.