Senior Sports Reporter
Zim U-17 women . . . . . . . . . . . . .(0)3
Comoros U-17 women . . . .. . . . (2)2
THE Zimbabwe Under-17 women’s national football team saved themselves the blushes at the COSAFA Championships yesterday when they scored three second-half goals to beat Comoros at The Oval Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The Young Mighty Warriors, who trailed 2-0 at half-time, dug deeper in the second period and were on target in the 78th, 82nd and 94th minutes to win their first match at the regional tournament. The tournament is running concurrently with the senior team at the Nelson Mandela Bay. And, today their senior team, the Mighty Warriors, need such a huge fighting spirit when they take on Botswana in a Group C decider.
The Mighty Warriors need to win with two clear goals to progress to the semi-finals.
But the Young Mighty Warriors, who were hammered 7-0 last Friday by hosts South Africa in their first match at the tournament, found a way back to winning ways. The script had appeared to continue yesterday after Zimbabwe conceded in the fourth minute. They had a goal ruled out for off-side and had a penalty saved in the 45th minute.
Zimbabwe were awarded a penalty deep into stoppage time of the first half, but midfielder Bethel Kondo shot straight at the Comoros keeper Ben Ali Said. But the Zimbabweans, playing in their first Under-17 Women’s COSAFA tournament, pulled one back after defender Morelife Nyagumbo rifled home a shot from the edge of the box to beat Comoros keeper with 12 minutes remaining. Zimbabwe equalised in the 82nd after midfielder Ropafadzo Maferefa, who had missed before finally got it right, heading into the nets to hit the back of the roof.
The Young Mighty Warriors were smelling victory and coach Annie Konje’s tactical change in the 68th minute paid off. Substitute Brenda Ndarowa repaid the coach’s confidence with an added time match winner that broke the hearts of the islanders.