Tanzania Twiga Stars kicked off the 2016 Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers campaign on a wrong foot, after going down 2-1 against Zimbabwe’s Mighty Warriors at the Azam Complex in Chamazi, Dar es Salaam.
The visitors came from behind to take a huge step toward qualification into the next round of the continental qualifiers. Mwanahamisi Omary scored the lone goal for home ladies but Erina Jeke scored both goals for Zimbabwe.
Twiga, who started the game confidently with high tempo took the lead in the 17th minute, when Mwanahamisi reacted quickly to finish off Asha Rashid’s spade work.
Asha dribbled past a defender before beating goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai and the ball landed on Mwanahamisi’s path to finish it off. However, the goal lasted for only two minutes as the visitors got an equaliser through Jeke, who rose above defenders to nod home an airborne foul ball from Eunice Chibanda. The set piece evaded several defenders to beat hapless goalkeeper Fatuma Omary.
After conceding the goal, Twiga Stars striking force led by experienced strikers Asha Rashid and Mwanahamisi Omary kept pressure on their opponents’ goal but they squandered several scoring opportunities that came their way. The hosts had a lion share of possession in the first half, which saw the two sides going into the break all square.
On resumption things went from bad to worse for the home team as the ‘Mighty Warriors’ took charge of the game which saw them taking an early lead through Jeke. The deadly striker capitalised on a defensive blunder to easily score the lead goal for the visitors.
The goal came from a through ball from a midfield, splitting the defence wide open and the goalkeeper had to rush out of the goal line but failed to clear the ball as the rebound met Jeke who scored easily.
The result means the Tanzanian ladies face an uphill task in their return leg match to be held on March 18th at Rufaro Stadium in Zimbabwe in which they will need to score two clear goals. It means, the Mighty Warriors, who have a ticket for the Rio Summer Olympic Games scheduled for Brazil in August this year, have a good chance of going through into the next stage of the qualifiers.
The 2-1 victory also means the Zimbabweans have managed to continue with their fairy tale over Twiga Stars. The winner between the two sides will face the winner between Namibia and Zambia for the final round qualifier. The final round for the qualifiers will be played on April 8, 9 or 10 in the first leg while the return leg will be held on April 22, 23 or 24.
Story Credit: Daily News