7 March 2013

Zimbabwe: Mighty Warriors Still Seeking a Win in Uruguay

Maldonado — MIGHTY Warriors striker Rutendo "Madzimai" Makore scored a double as the visitors came from behind thrice to force a draw against Uruguay senior women's soccer team on Tuesday night at Domingo Burgueno Miguel stadium.

Zimbabwe will be back on the battle front again tonight (at 10pm Zimbabwean time) and will face the Uruguay developmental squad which is made up of their Under-20 team which was at last year's Fifa World Cup and some Under-17 players.

Mighty Warriors coach Rose Mugadza said she would throw into the fray some of her junior players such as the former Under-20 duo of midfielder Mavis Chirandu and goalkeeper Portia Mukucha.

The Young Mighty Warriors also took part in the Under-20 World Cup qualifiers but came short against the Nigerian Falconets in the first round in which they were soundly beaten.

But Mugadza, who is still chasing her first victory here, is likely to rest some of her regular players tonight as she prepares for her final match against the Uruguay senior team on Saturday night.

"We will make some changes, we have seven players that didn't play in the first match and would be automatically given the chance. We also brought some Under-20 players and we will definitely field them so that they play at the highest stage competing against a team which went to the World Cup last year," said Mugadza.

after watching her charges force a draw against a better ranked side, Mugadza will now fancy chances of her team securing a win in South America.

Zimbabwe found themselves on the backfoot in the 25th minute when striker Catherin Berni punished the visitors for their lapse in concentration.

However, 10 minutes later, the Mighty Warriors pulled one back via the effort of veteran midfielder Nokuthula Ndlovu who released a long range left footer.

Zimbabwe midfielder, Felistas Muzongondi, could have thrust the visitors into the lead in the 37th minute but somehow miscued her effort.

Five minutes after the break the hosts went ahead again when forward Carolina Birizamberri beat a badly exposed Onai Chingawo after defensive midfielder Talent Mandaza had lost possession.

Black Rhinos striker Makore, who scored another double, in the Unity Cup against Botswana at Rufaro, brought the Mighty Warriors back into the game when she drove the ball home after she found possession outside the box.

The game, which was now a bit lively, swung from one end to another with Uruguay Berni sending a fine delivery to Mariana Pion who placed the ball into the nets.

As Zimbabwe sought for another equaliser, Marjoury Nyaumwe missed a perfect chance after some fine footwork, with her final touch letting her down.

Nyaumwe, always a marvel to watch in midfiled showed the South Americans some of the stuff that African football is all about.

As Zimbabwe kept on the pressure, a Uruguay defender buckled under pressure and handled in the box and referee awarded the visitors a penalty.

Makore, converted the spot-kick sending the team which appeared to be on course for a defeat into cheers.

Mugadza reckoned that her team had wasted a number of chances and should improve on their performance and beat Uruguay senior team when the two teams square off again on Saturday night in the last match of their tour.

"As a team, we created many chances in the first 20 minutes but failed to utilise them and the players were not composed. The team wasn't looking good in defence and we will work with the strikers and the defenders before we play our final match as we want to win that match.

"We tried our best but we have to improve as we came here to prepare for the Cosafa and all the upcoming qualifiers and we need all the girls in shape in all these competitions. Uruguay had congested their midfield but we changed as we were not attacking the blind side and added more people in attack.

"We are improving as a team and learning and we are happy to beat a team rankled above us. This is the kind of challenge we were expecting here," said Mugadza.

Uruguay coach Jorge Burgell said their team which hardly competes against big teams found the visitors strong.

"The match was like a fight, it was a challenge and Zimbabwe is strong, the rhythm of the match motivated us to remain in the game. The penalty was just a simple mistake and we could have won the game. We learnt that Zimbabwe is a strong team and came from behind three times.

"Zimbabwe was always on the same level and we had to fight to keep up with them We are not used to a tough match as we don't usually play strong teams and this was a challenge. Now we know how the team is organised and their type of play and we will know how to plan for the Saturday match," Burgell said.

Uruguay.....(1) 3

Zimbabwe..(1) 3

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