Mighty Warriors Date Cameroon Lionesses
The match is part of the Mighty Warriors build up to their final 2012 Women’s Africa Championship qualifier against Africa’s top ranked women’s football team the Super Falcons of Nigeria.
Sources at the Zimbabwe Football Association have revealed that Zifa had lined up Cameroon’s Lionesses, the Equatorial Guineas and Ghana as possible opponents but finally settled for the Cameroonians whom they think will give them strong opposition in preparation for their showdown against the Nigerians.
Zifa Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Mashingaidze confirmed they have settled for Cameroon but added that there was a possibility that the Mighty Warriors could still play Ghana and the Equatorial Guinea before the crunch tie against the Nigerians.
“We have been talking to a number of countries with regards to the Mighty Warriors friendlies and we have settled for Cameroon whom we think will give our team one or two lessons before they play Nigeria,” said Mashingaidze.
Zimbabwe and Nigeria’s Super Falcons face each other in a two legged qualifier, the first of which is at Rufaro Stadium on May 27 with the return leg set for Lagos two weeks later.
Nigeria who are also ranked 24th in the world have never lost a tie in any international football form against Zimbabwe be it in women or men’s football but Mighty Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza believes there is always a first adding that the Mighty Warriors will make history.
‘Football has changed. There are no longer small or big teams. Who expected Zambia to win the Nations Cup but they did. We can also do it,” said Mugadza.
Mugadza could be proved right as Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2011 All Africa Games after losing to perennial rivals Ghana in the West African qualifiers while the Mighty Warriors made the journey to Africa’s spectacular sporting festival.
The Super Falcons though have a history of intimidation. Nigeria have been to the World Cup on six occasions, reaching the quarter finals in 1999, have three Olympic Game appearances and hold eight Africa Women’s Championship titles and finished third once in 2008.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe have qualified once to the Africa Women’s Championship in South Africa in 2004 where they shocked hosts Banyana Banyana but were eliminated in the first round despite holding Ethiopia to a draw in their next match but lost to Ghana.
Coincidentally, the Zimbabwe Under 20 women’s team, the young Mighty Warriors have also been drawn to play Nigeria should they sail over Mozambique whom they lead by a 4-0 cushion following their first leg win at Rufaro Stadium.
The Africa Women’s Championships will be held in the Equatorial Guinea in September. The country also co-hosted the Orange Africa Cup of Nations with Gabon which saw Zambia emerge winners with an 8-7 post match penalty win over the Elephants of the Ivory Coast.