Despite being knocked out in the semi-finals of the annual LM Auctioneers Women Football Tournament, Botswana`s women football giants, Double Action made a mark and impressed in Zimbabwe.The tournament has for the past two years been staged in Bulawayo, but was this year moved to Gweru as a way of taking women's football to the people. "We as the organisers have decided to rotate the tournament to other parts of the country. I promise you that next year the tournament will be staged in Mutare," said Lewis Muzhara of LM Auctioneers when addressing the media before the tournament.
This year `s tournament featured six teams from the Zimbabwean Super League and two teams from Botswana.
They included New Orleans, Mufakose Queens, In Line Academy, Black Rhinos, Cyclone Stars and the host Chipembere, while Botswana representatives were the national champions, Double Action and Meat Girls who lost in the group stages. The tournament started on Saturday with Double Action finishing second in a four-team group. They booked themselves a place in the semi-finals after smashing Chipembere 5-0 before they went on to shock Zimbabwean national champions, Mufakose Queens 3-0.
The tournament was sponsored to the tune of US$20,000 (P154, 000) under the theme "Making The Girl Child Smile Through Soccer". As a former football player with a passion for sports development, Muzhara saw it fit to help develop women's soccer.
"I was raised by my mother and the love she gave to me as a women is so amazing that I would also like to help raise awareness on the girl child by sponsoring this tournament," said Muzhara. The road to the semis was a tough one for Double Action especially the final group match against the army side, Black Rhinos. The referee for the day ruined what could have been arguably the best game of the tournament. Double Action went into the semi-finals with a limping squad due to injuries among key players.
They included the all time leading goal-scorer Thuto 'Vera' Ramafifi, goalkeeper Peggy Segokgo, midfield maestro Thuso Lesaane, and Kgarebe 'Shuffle' Ramodimo. Double Action coach, Agreement Podi blamed the referee for their side's loss in the semi-finals against In Line Academy. "I am not happy with the way the ref handled this match, we lost not because my players didn't play well, but because of the injuries we had in our last match and some of the referee's decisions, " Podi said.
For the first time the cup crossed to Harare after the army girls came back from behind to shock Bulawayo `s In Line Academy with a 2-1 defeat to lift the trophy, gold medals and cash money of US$1,500. In Line Academy settled for a second position winning a trophy, silver medals and US$1,000, while New Orleans and Double Action came third and fourth, winning US$600 and US$300 respectively. Botswana players, Kitso Sheba and Thuto Vera Ramafifi both scooped the Top goal- scorer and Players' player awards respectively. Each individual award winner walked away with a shield and US$100.