Sports

Zimbabwe: Msipa Bullish Ahead of Match

MIGHTY Warriors captain Emmaculate Msipa is in bullish mood ahead of tomorrow’s encounter against Botswana in the last qualifying round of the Africa Women Cup of Nations at the National Sports Stadium.

The Turkey-based senior women’s national football side’s skipper arrived in the country on Tuesday and had her first session with the rest of the squad at the National Sports Stadium yesterday morning.

Msipa said she is geared for tomorrow’s game and is confident of victory.

“I am really happy that I have joined the team and I am seeing everyone is ready for the game.

“The only thing that I want to say to the whole nation and our fans is that we are going to make you proud. We are going to do our very best to qualify. From what I am seeing from the girls, they are ready.

“As the captain of the team, I am going to lead the girls, I am going to give it my all. I am going to do my very best so that we qualify because we know that qualifying for AWCON is the only way for us to get the ticket to the World Cup, that’s our dream as Mighty Warriors, we want to play at the World Cup,” said Msipa.

The top four teams from the Africa Women Cup of Nations, to take place from July 2 to July 23 in Morocco, will qualify for next year’s World Cup.

Zimbabwe and Botswana’s last meeting was last October at the COSAFA Championships.

Zimbabwe won 3-0 but Msipa is not reading much into the past.

“Botswana is not an easy team. It’s a tough team, they are physically fit, we played them last COSAFA, we won 3-0. But winning 3-0 against Botswana does not mean we have to be complacent, we are not going to relax, we are going to give our all so that we qualify.”

All the foreign-based players — Msipa, Israel-based Rudo Neshamba, Tanzania-based Danai Bhobho and Nigeria-based Berita Kabwe — are now in camp with the rest of the squad. Coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda is hoping they will bring in another dimension to her side considering that the locally-based players have not had much activity since the women’s league in this country has not resumed.

“Being a foreign-based player is very difficult because everyone expects you to play better than local players but we are going to do our best. We are not going to put ourselves under pressure,” said Msipa.

A win tomorrow will put the Mighty Warriors in a better position going into the second leg next Wednesday in Botswana.