It is the end of the road for the Mighty Warriors at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The curtain came down with another thumping 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Australians.
Zimbabwe also played World Number 2 ranked Germany who also thumped them 6-1 before playing Canada to whom they lost again 3-1. Despite the heavy defeats every Zimbabwean citizen must be proud of the girl child.
Soccer24 takes a look at some reasons why you should respect the Mighty Warriors despite the elimination.
1. Africa’s reps
In a vast continent of Africa, Zimbabwe emerged as one of the only two representatives for Africa. Together with South Africa, Zimbabwe took the honours ahead of season campaigners like Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon etc.
2. Lessons learned
In the 36 years of Zimbabwe’s independence, The Mighty Warriors became the first football team in the country to play at a global football tournament. The Olympics ranks as the 2nd biggest football tournament just behind the FIFA World Cup. As a first time experience, not much was expected from the team but under the circumstances they fought with dignity, pride and honour for their country. Zimbabwe’s next call will be at the Women’s AFCON in December and with positives from the tournament, The Mighty Warriors may just be the team to beat.
3. They made it with littlest support
The team reached Rio by beating continental giants Cameroon in a two-legged final round of qualifiers, becoming the first team from the southern African country to qualify for a major global football event. To get there, the Mighty Warriors have been on an arduous, distressing and emotionally sapping journey. From dehumanising camping conditions, poor diet, incredibly low pay, to taxing road trips across borders for important international matches and cancellations, the Mighty Warriors have overcome every form of frustration possible and to have been rubbing shoulders with the world’s top sides in Rio – Respect!!!.
4. They were not ranked high enough
Out of all the 12 teams that participated at the Women’s tournament, Zimbabwe was the lowest ranked at number 95 in the World. In the group, Zimbabwe had Canada ranked number 10 in the World and Australia at position 25.
Of course results are very crucial but without looking at everything in context we may not get the real picture.There are a lot of positives going forward for Zimbabwean’s women’s football and if the nation builds on this the future is bright.
Respect and Salute to the Mighty Warriors, You did the nation Proud!!!