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MBABANE – Zimbabwe’s Mighty Warriors are through to the next qualification stage after beating Eswatini’s senior women’s national team, Sitsebe, 3-0  in a Africa Women Cup of Nations (AFWCON) qualifier.

The match was played yesterday afternoon at Mavuso Sports Centre. Going into the game having secured a first leg advantage over the local team, winning 3-1 at Zimbabwe’s National Sports Stadium six days ago, Zimbabwe dominated the game and went into the second half leading 1-0 with Marjory Nyaumwe breaking the deadlock in the 13th minute.

The Eswatini team managed to pin down the visitors for the better part of the second half but a slight cracks in the defence was enough for Maundy Mafuruse and Shyline Dambamuromo to score two minutes apart in the 84th and 86th minute as the Mighty Warriors celebrated their 3-1 victory. Losing both the first and second leg of the preliminary stage by an aggregate 1-6 scoreline meant the end of the road for the local team.

This tournament was supposed to have been played last year, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zimbabwe will be looking to make a return to the finals which they last featured in the 2016 edition in Cameroon. Despite the defeat, Captain Nokuthula Dlamini said her team displayed an improved game, but conceded from silly mistakes. “We played an improved game and managed to match them, but conceded silly goals. We need to work on our shooting going forward,” Dlamini said.

Coach Dumisani Makhanya commended his team for putting up a good fight in what he described as an improved game compared to the first leg match. Makhanya said his team was unlucky as they created a number of chances, but had shortcomings in terms of scoring. “From the first leg, we played an improved game today and I am happy about their performance. We tried to close them down. In fact, I notice a lot of growth because there is a lot of improvement. We are more organised defensively, but we need to add more numbers in the defence,” Makhanya said. The coach congratulated Zimbabwe for their victory and acknowledged them as one of the strongest teams in Africa.

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