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Mighty Warriors make history, qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics
18/10/2015 00:00:00
by Sports Reporter

Zimbabwe 1-0 Cameroon (Zimbabwe win on away goals rule after 2-2 aggregate draw)

THE ZIMBABWE women’s football team, the Mighty Warriors, made history on Sunday when they became the first national football team to qualify for the Olympic Games after they edged fancied Cameroon to win on away goals rule.

The Mighty Warriors lost 2-1 in the first leg two weeks back, but won 1-0 on Sunday via a Rudo Neshamba strike after just nine minutes to leave new coach Shadreck Mlauzi on cloud nine.

“I am so, so happy. This was my first time to coach the national team and look: we are going to Rio next year. I can’t express it in words, but I am delighted with these girls.

“They have made Zimbabwe proud, they have made everyone proud and even themselves. They have written their own piece of history and I am so happy.

“When we played the first leg, we led for 62 minutes, we made mistakes and we conceded two goals.

Thank you ... Mighty Warriors salute the fans after the win.

“We came back home and worked on our mistakes and, like I said during the week, we had a game plan and we stuck to the plan until the end of the match.

“I would like to pay tribute to the players, my assistants, the entire technical team and Zifa for all the efforts they made to ensure our success,” Mlauzi, barely out of breath, said as the Mighty Warriors galloped through Rufaro, in a lap of honour to the fans that came to watch the match.

Mlauzi, the 35-year-old Inline Soccer Academy coach, took over from Rosemary Mugadza, who had been in charge for almost a decade, and just at the first time of asking, has qualified for a major tournament.

Neshamba, who scored the vital away goal and already had two goals in the qualifiers, said after the match: “I can’t believe this, wow. We are going to Brazil!”

This is the second time that Zimbabwe has managed to get the better of Cameroon after knocking out their Under 23 boys’ team from the Africa Games that took place in Congo-Brazzaville from September 4-19.

The Under 23 side, then under Kalisto Pasuwa, drew 1-1 away in the final qualifier to go through to the finals.


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