Zimbabwe host Twiga Stars in Cosafa last four
Tanzania national women soccer team, Twiga Stars, meet hosts Zimbabwe aka 'Mighty Warriors' today in the second semifinal of the inaugural Cosafa Championship at the Rufaro Stadium.
The match kicks off after the first semifinal tie between South Africa and Malawi.
Head coach Charles Mkwasa does not underestimate the host side though his girls are determined to sail into the final on Saturday.
"Zimbabwe will be playing with full home ground advantage and bank heavily on their towering striker Rufaro Mutyavaviri,” said Boniface.
The Twiga Stars coach said he is not expected to overhaul his line up that has been impressive at the group stages. Zimbabwean striker
Mutyavaviri is leading the score chart after hitting five past Malawi during their 8-2 rout.
Twiga Stars is a favorite among four expected to win the title.
The Tanzania team’s first line-up expected to be fielded today is as follows; Fatuma Omary,
Fatuma Makusanya, Fatuma Khatibu, Sophia Mwasikili, Mwanaidi Tamba, Mwajuma Abdallah, Mwanahamisi Omary, Ettoe Mlenzi, Fatuma Mustafa, Asha Rashid and Fadhila Kigalawa.
Twiga Stars have been enjoying a tremendous support from few Tanzanians living in Zimbabwe including High Commissioner Adadi Rajab who has been attending all the matches.
Teams that have kissed a hand of goodbye from the tournament are Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho and Mozambique.
We Are Not Afraid of South Africa-Machingura
Mighty Warriors reliable striker, Rufaro Machingura, is up-beat about her team’s clash with regional giants in the final match of the 2011 Cosafa Women Championships set for Saturday at Rufaro.“We have prepared so much for this tournament to face any team. South Africa is a strong side and we have lost to them before. But we took lessons from those games and I believe we are prepared for another run against them,” she said.
“I’m not afraid of them. Every game is different and if we play well we will win. All we need to do is apply what we have learnt.”
Machingura sent the crowd into frenzy with her five goals during Zimbabwe’s 8-2 victory against Malawi in a Group A match two days after she had rose from the bench to score for her team against Lesotho on Saturday.
The 19-year-old Aces Youth Academy forward, who has been moved by the support of local football fans, gave credit to her coaches believing it is their hard work that has lifted the team to great heights.
“I always make sure that I do what our coaches tell us and that has given us very good results. I put effort into training and make sure I use all the skill and power I have at training. This has brought me to be who I am today hoping that I can do more,” Machingura said.
Zimbabwe face Group B runners-up in the semi-finals today while Group B leaders Banyana Banyana face Group A runners up in the other semi-final clash for a place in the finals on this weekend.
by Grace Chirumanzu
Banyana have one foot in final
BANYANA Banyana look set for an easy passage to the final of the Cosafa Senior Women's Champions when they play Malawi in the semifinals in Zimbabwe today.
Based on the two countries' performance in the group stage matches, Banyana should have the beating of the Malawians.
The match takes place at Rufaro Stadium, starting at 12.30pm.
Banyana have won all their three matches, scored nine goals and conceded only one to finish on top of Group B.
Malawi, on the other hand, finished second in Group A with one win, one draw one and a loss. Their rearguard was as porous as South Africa's was tight, conceding 11 goals in three outings. They scored one goal less than Banyana.
Banyana reached the semifinals after pipping Tanzania 1-0, while Malawi walloped Lesotho 5-2 and they will be hoping that their emphatic win will inspire them to overcome the champions.
Banyana's defence led by Janine "Booth" van Wyk has been further bolstered by the return from suspension of Yola Jafta.
Acting coach Joseph Mkhonza is likely to maintain the 4-3-3 formation he used in the previous matches, with Noko "Beep Beep" Matlou teaming up with captain Amanda Dlamini and the in-form Zanele Sukazi up front.
Matlou's constant switching from left to right is likely to frustrate Malawi as it will be difficult for them to plan the match around the Limpopo striker.
Mkhonza knows exactly what to expect from Malawi after he watched them in the 8-2 defeat by Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
Banyana are likely to play against Zimbabwe in the final on Saturday because the hosts appear to have what it takes to beat Tanzania in the other semifinal match at Rufaro Stadium also today.
by Matome leeba