Following a draw in their opening match of this year’s Council of Southern Africa Football Associations Women’s Championship, the Brave Gladiators are determined to secure maximum points in today’s tie against Zimbabwe.
The Gladiators kicked off their campaign with a draw against Botswana last Friday. Millicent Hikuam found the net for the Gladiators in the first 10 minutes, while Botswana’s captain, Kesegofetse Mochawe, scored a free kick to secure a point for her team.
On the other hand, their opponents, Zimbabwe, secured a 1-0 victory over Lesotho in the opening match, putting them at the top of Group C with three points. Botswana is in second place, while Namibia sits in third, with both teams having earned a single point each.
Speaking after the match on Friday, Brave Gladiators coach Mervin Mbakera revealed that their initial intention was to secure all three points. However, their strategy had to adapt after a few mistakes.
“Our initial intention was to secure all three points. We adjusted our attacking and defensive strategies to exploit the space behind their defence, and we managed to score a goal using that approach,” Mbakera stated.
He emphasised the importance of winning the first match and expressed confidence in the team’s ability to accumulate more points moving forward.
“A simple foul cost us, leading to their goal, but we managed to secure a point. Our aim is to top the group stages and advance to the next round of the tournament. A strong start is crucial, and today, the girls showed that they are ready and up to the task. They are willing to go all the way, but we need to work on minor lapses in concentration towards the end of the match,” added the coach.
The Gladiators will conclude their group-stage campaign with a match against Lesotho on Wednesday.
-Additional Reporting from NFA