Mmegi Online :: Female Zebras out to break COSAFA Cup hoodoo
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Last Updated
Friday 19 October 2018, 15:27 pm.
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Female Zebras out to break COSAFA Cup hoodoo

The Female Zebras would head in to this year’s edition of the COSAFA Senior Women Championships to be held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe next week in pursuit of a first victory at the regional tournament.
By Kabelo Boranabi Fri 08 Sep 2017, 15:25 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Female Zebras out to break COSAFA Cup hoodoo








The women’s team featured in the inaugural tournament in 2002, and then again in 2008 and 2011, but had failed to secure a single victory.

Their first match in the regional showpiece competition in 2002 ended in an embarrassing 14-0 loss to nemesis, South Africa, but by the time they competed in the last finals in 2011, their clashes were all much closer, though still without success.

Speaking to Mmegi Sport yesterday, the team’s coach Gaolethoo ‘Ronaldo’ Nkutlwisang said her side would be looking for more improved results as they target to break a 15-year winless streak.

“I think the nation should be patient with us. We are on a building phase. We are going out there for more improved results, I cannot really say we are targeting the title but we will be able to come out with positive results,” she said. Ronaldo, who was appointed as the team’s coach for the second term in July, has not had an easy task since returning to the local top women football coaching post.

In a previous interview with this publication, Nkutlwisang said she had wished to start the preparations for the tournament in June but had to settle for a week training camp, as the team assembled over the weekend. There had always been uncertainness surrounding the team’s COSAFA trip as the lack of funds was cited as the reason.

Nkutlwisang said despite the challenges in the build up to the tournament, she remains unfazed. “We have been here for a week. We just have

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to use what we have accordingly and try to get the players to a state we want for the tournament.

We had to squeeze our programme and I think the players too felt that they were overworked. But as a coach you have to work on your players, so that they reach the levels we would want for the tournament,” she said.  The team had to resort to playing practice matches with the local development sides after efforts to secure an international friendly failed.

The team lost by a single goal to Police XI Under-17 side and was scheduled to play Matebajana Under-17 team yesterday. The team is without South African-based Sedilame Bosija who is yet to report for duty. The number one goalkeeper is expected to join her teammates before they depart for Zimbabwe after Bloemfontein Celtic women’s team released her. The travelling squad would be announced today.

The Female Zebras are pitted against nemesis; Banyana Banyana, Namibia and Lesotho in Group C. The local girls will kick-off their campaign against western neighbours, Namibia on September 13, before taking on Lesotho, three days later.

The Female Zebras would play their last group stage game against Banyana Banyana on September 17.  Three teams that finish first in their groups would advance to the semi finals together with best-placed runner up.

This would be the largest edition of the tournament, as the number of teams has increased from eight to 12 since it was last played in 2011 where Zimbabwe was crowned champions.

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