The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe/Botswana: Mighty Warriors Face Botswana

ZIMBABWE'S Mighty Warriors will return to action when they clash against Botswana in the Unity Cup Challenge match at Rufaro on December 22. The match against the Female Zebras will be the first time that the Mighty Warriors play different opponents in the Unity Cup challenge match having engaged South Africa in the two previous editions.

It will be the second meeting between Zimbabwe and Botswana this year with their first clash being an African Cup of Nations qualifier in January which the Mighty Warriors won 3-1 on aggregate.

Although they do not have any immediate international competition to fulfil, the Mighty Warriors have been using every opportunity that arises to play matches and keep their shape.

The Mighty Warriors last international match was against South Africa's Banyana Banyana in Johannesburg which they lost 1-0.

Meanwhile, inaugural Marange Womean's Super League champions Black Rhinos Queens completed a memorable season with a 1-0 win over an otherwise stubborn and relegated Chipembere on the last day of the season at Rufaro yesterday.

Zimbabwe international striker Rufaro Machingura scored the only goal of the match deep in the second half.

Rhinos, who were crowned champions last weekend after dismissing Conduit Soccer Academy, were presented with their championship trophy and medals with the sponsors of Marange Resources.

The army sides won the league title with 47 points, beating rivals Mufakose Queens into second place with Langton Giwa's charges managing 41 points while Inline came third with 39 points.

Last year the an unbranded league ended prematurely as some teams failed to fulfil fixtures.

But the coming on board of Marange Resources changed the face of the league and created competition in the 10-team league.

The army side cemented their place as an emerging force in the local women's football, which used to be dominated by such teams like Mufakose Queens and New Orleans.

Rhinos coach Weddington Chinyanganya saluted Marange Resources for sponsorship which triggered immediate reaction from his charges.

"The coming in of Marange Resources as sponsors increased the level of competition unlike last season where we had no sponsors," said Chinyanganya.

"I am very happy with Marange for providing teams with transports, camping allowances and other things.

"Generally we had a good season and I should give credit to the players for a job well done. Our team played well throughout the season.

"As defending champions we have done extremely well and when you realise we only dropped seven points form 18 matches then you can see the depth in our team. The number of goals we have scored it's very encouraging.

"And now that the season is over the most important thing is to recruit players as we start preparing for next season," said Chinyanganya.

Women's Football League boss Mavis Gumbo also hailed Marange Resources for supporting the girl child and said they now wanted to build a strong national team that can challenge for honours on the continent

"This has been a great season in as much as the women's football is concerned," said Gumbo.

"There has been a lot of improvement from all the teams in the league because of Marange Resources. The competition was stiff.

"We want to build up on this league and come up with a strong national team that can fight for honours on international scene.

"And from the look of things we are not very far away from it because as we speak we have been invited by Uruguay to play a friendly match early next year.

"This shows we are now being recognised on international the level as the Mighty Warriors.

"A country all the way from North America asking for a friendly against us means a lot. We are looking forward at improving as the Mighty Warriors and all those defeats against Nigeria will be a thing of the past.

"We want to pull through to the finals in the next competitions next year. Marange will keep on supporting the girl child and we are going to be involved in a lot of friendlies as we seek to fine-tune our squad.

"We will continue having more friendlies and we will start with the one against the Female Zebras on December 22 and we are not going to stop," said Gumbo.

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