Mighty Warriors handed fair Cosafa Cup draw

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By Sports Reporter

FOLLOWING a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals campaign by the senior Zimbabwe national men’s football team, focus shifts to the women’s team, the Mighty Warriors who were drawn in Group C alongside Mozambique, Angola and Eswatini at the 2019 Cosafa Women Championship in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday.

South Africa will host the competition which is set to run from July 31 to August 11 in Port Elizabeth, for the second consecutive year.

In the other groups, hosts and defending champions South Africa are set to face Malawi, Comoros and Madagascar in Group A while Group B comprises Zambia, Namibia Mauritius and Botswana.

A draw for the inaugural Cosafa Under-20 women championship which will be held concurrently with senior competition in the same city was also conducted.

The eight team tournament will see Zimbabwe compete in a tough Group A that includes hosts South Africa, Namibia and Malawi.

Four other teams namely Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Eswatini complete Group B of the historic age group women tournament.

Seven of the teams are from the region while Tanzania are guests in the inaugural under-20 event.

Champions in 2011 in the senior tournament, the Mighty Warriors and Zambia are tipped to challenge South Africa for the honours.

Last year, Zimbabwe failed to progress to the semi-finals of the competition after finishing second behind Uganda in Group C while missing out on the best placed runners-up slot to guests Cameroon.

In 2017, the Mighty Warriors narrowly lost 2-1 to five time winners South Africa in Bulawayo.

The Mighty Warriors were the first national football team to make it to a global event after qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Previously, Zimbabwe had qualified for the women’s version of the Africa Cup of Nations three times and their best performance was a fourth place finish at the 2000 edition held in Nigeria.

The upcoming Cosafa Cup will be an opportunity for the Mighty Warriors to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics after failing to book a place at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) last year.

After being handed a bye in the preliminary round for the Olympic qualifiers held in April, the Mighty Warriors kick-start their campaign with a date against Zambia in September.