By Don Makanyanga
Harare, September 21, 2016 – ZIMBABWE senior women’s soccer team coach, Shadreck Mlauzi feels the Egyptians did not give their best in an international friendly they played with the Mighty Warriors at Rufaro on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe triumphed 2-1 over the Egyptians.
But Mlauzi still feels the Egyptians failed to stretch his girls far enough to allow him and his technical team to assess the strength of his team.
“As a team (Egypt), I feel they did not push us to the limit or to a level we expected from them, especially on the technical and tactical side; they did not come to the party. We expected more from them,” said the gaffer.
Some sections of the football fraternity felt that the 2016 Africa Women Championships draw on Sunday which saw the Mighty Warriors being drawn with Egypt could have played a role in the poor display by the Arabs.
They felt this could have been tactical as they (Egyptians) felt they were going to unnecessarily expose their game plan going into the crucial matches.
Mlauzi concurred, insisting that the Egyptians were not at all serious during the match.
“We respect them; they are a powerhouse but like I have said, we expected more from them and maybe they couldn’t give their best because of the Sunday draw,” he said.
Zimbabwe was drawn in Group A with Cameroon, Egypt and South Africa.
Despite a poor showing by the Egyptians, Mlauzi remained confident his charges will spring a big surprise at the biggest women football continental tournament.
“We have the faith and if we are to keep our philosophy that we have had since our participation at the Olympics, then I feel we can go far,” he said.
Mlauzi said the Mighty Warriors side – which lost all its three first round matches after conceding 15 goals during the 2016 Rio Olympics – needs more international friendlies to allow the technical team to broaden its selection base after most of his players who travelled to Brazil were sidelined for Tuesday’s match due injuries and other ailments.
“We have some players that have ailments and injuries and with these friendlies, it gives us time to work on our combinations and also broaden our base,” he said.