Gladiators lose to Zimbabwe again; now out of CAF qualifier race

09 Apr 2018 16:40pm
WINDHOEK, 09 APR (NAMPA) – The Brave Gladiators lost 0-2 to Zimbabwe in Harare on Sunday in the second leg of the 2018 Confederation of African Football Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
This means Namibia lost 0-4 on aggregate, following an identical score line they suffered at the Sam Nujoma Stadium last Thursday.
Namibia managed to hold the host to a 0-0 draw in the first half before conceding two late goals from Emmaculate Msipa in the 73rd minute and Mavis Chirandu in the 85th minute.
Coach Brian Isaacs made two changes to the team that played in the first leg, replacing Anna Marie Shikusho and Annoushka Kordom with Veweziwa Kotjipati and Twelikondjela Amukoto in the starting 11.
Speaking to the local media in Harare soon after the match, Isaacs admitted after the match that Namibia made the job difficult for themselves in the first leg, while paying tribute to Zimbabwe for being technically superior.
“The team performed well in the absence of the league back home as we had to rely on the Under-17 and U-19 boys to prepare the team. It was difficult to prepare for this qualifier,” he said.
He added that they had harboured hopes to overturn the score line despite losing at home.
“We created chances in both matches so the performance was excellent from the girls. Match fitness, however, lacked from the girls,” he added.
ZimbabweÂ’s coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda said her team had won the match by isolating NamibiaÂ’s star player, Zenatha Coleman.
“Namibia played a very good game, but we capitalised on their over-reliance on Coleman. They made it difficult for us in both legs,” she said.
She added that the tactical organisation of Zimbabwe won the match for them.
Zimbabwe does not have an active league at the moment but Sibanda was hopeful that the league will commence so as to prepare for future games.
The loss means Namibia bows out of the qualification for the tournament, which will be held in Ghana from 17 November to 01 December 2018.
It also doubles as the African qualifiers for the 2019 International Federation of Football Associations Women's World Cup. The top three teams will qualify for the World Cup in France.
Zimbabwe will now face Zambia, who beat Tanzania on away goals following a 1-1 draw in Zambia on Sunday and a 3-3 draw in Tanzania on Thursday.