Tadious Manyepo in JOHANNESBURG
THE Mighty Warriors were not exactly flawless but still did enough to advance to the COSAFA Women’s Championship semi-finals following a draw at Dobsonville Stadium yesterday.
Zimbabwe now face Zambia tomorrow for a place in the final.
An early goal by Ennety Chemhere did the magic for Zimbabwe although there was a late scare towards the end of the closely-contested showdown especially after Balothanyi Johannes scored the equaliser for Botswana with five minutes to play.
Five more minutes were added as injury time.
Zimbabwe needed to avoid defeat in this final group match while their opponents had to win to clinch the last slot in the semis.
Chemhere was starting for the first time in this tournament after getting the nod ahead of Shyline Dambamuromo.
After surging ahead, the Mighty Warriors should have stretched their advantage at the half-hour mark when impressive left-back Alice Moyo tried a speculative shot that hit the frame of goal.
At the opposite end, Gaonyadiwe Ontlametse failed to direct her effort on target after catching the Zimbabwe reaguard in sixes and sevens.
For most of the opening half, play was mostly concentrated in midfield where Edline Mutumbami and Daisy Kaitano were in full control.
Coach Shadreck Mlauzi hailed his team for their spirit.
“We managed to get an early goal which was the major advantage to us in this game. But most of the time we kept on giving Botswana some hope,” said Mlauzi.
“We made some mistakes in key areas and failed to score when we should have.
“That allowed Botswana to come back into the game but credit to the girls, they didn’t panic but we still need to improve on how we should be managing games”.
Cynthia Shonga, Daisy Kaitano, Eunice Chibanda, Purity Mugayi, Alice Moyo, Rudo Neshamba(Maudy Mafuruse 90th min), Edline Mutumbami, Nobukhosi Ncube, Privilege Mupeti(Praynance Zvawanda 69min), Ennety Chemhere (Tanyaradzwa Chihoro 69th min), Christabel Katona (Shyline Dambamuromo 86th min)
Lesego Moeng, Kesegofetse Mochawe, Nancy Baeletse, Masego Montsho, Lone Gaofetoge, Mokgabo Thanda (Michelle Abueng (63rd min), Lesego Radiakanyo (Obonetse Rathari 90th min), Keitumetse Dithebe, Veronicah Mogotsi, Balothanyi Johannes, Gaonyadiwe Ontlametse (Lweungo Senelo 90th min)