Mighty Warriors lose to Botswana in Awcon Qualifiers

Botswana beat Zimbabwe 3-1 in the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) Qualifier played at the National Sports Stadium on Friday.

The game had a cagey start with no meaningful chances created on either side in the opening quarter-hour.

The visitors tried to shift the gears up on minute 21 but were denied by goalkeeper Lindiwe Mangwende.

A few moments later, on the opposite end, Zimbabwe thought they have drawn first blood through Rudo Neshamba’s header.

However, the assistant referee’s offside flag quickly went up.

With the tempo slowing down in the remainder of the half, the first half ended with both teams tied at 0-0.

On return from the break, Botswana didn’t take long to break the deadlock, with Refilwe Tlholakele capitalising on a defensive mixup by the Mighty Warriors to find the back of the net.

The visitors came back again and doubled their lead on minute 71 through Lesego Radiakanyo.

Privilege Mupeti tried to launch a late comeback for the Mighty Warriors when she pulled one back in the 85th minute, but the goal came in vain as Radiakanyo netted another one for Botswana on the stroke of full-time.

The scoreline saw the Zebra Ladies winning the first leg 3-1.

The return fixture will be played in Francistown on 23 February, and the winner over both encounters will qualify for the 2022 Awcon finals in Morocco.

Mighty Warriors XI: L. Magwede (gk), E. Msipa ©, N. Ncube, V. Mharadzi, D. Bhobho, E. Tumbare, E. Mutumbami, M. Nyaumwe, M. Mafuruse, R. Neshamba, R. Makore.

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