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24.09.2004 Football News

Warriors Face Black Queens in Crunch Tie

By The Herald (Harare)

THE final day of the fourth African Women's Championships in Gauteng, South Africa presents a three-dimensional atmosphere for all the four teams.

It will be a different race for Ghana who face Zimbabwe today (3pm), as they are keen to maintain a 100 percent run in the tournament.

For South Africa who entertain Ethiopia it will be a fight to restore lost pride after two consecutive losses 3-0 to Ghana and 2-1 to Zimbabwe have left them out of the race for the semi-finals.

But for Zimbabwe and Ethiopia the stakes are so high as a win and a defeat to the other would present them with a slot in the last four.

Ghana are already through to the next round with six points garnered from two wins. They beat Ethiopia 2-1 and South Africa 2-0.

For Ghana the battle is to finish without a loss to affirm their top billing as favourites ahead of traditional powerhouse Nigeria. They have the quality at their disposal to ensure a positive result in Floriwa Gloria, a Johannes Ngodzo type of a left footer; Adjoa Bayor, a skilful playmaker; and aggressive Justina Petteh up front.

Zimbabwe need to win this clash or at least draw. A point this afternoon would take their points tally to five, one more than what rivals Ethiopia could finish with if they beat South Africa at Caledonian Stadium.

Mighty Warriors have a good chance of finishing as runners-up or as winners if they beat Ghana.

"All is geared for Ghana; we have tried our level best to work on our weaknesses," said coach Rosemary Mugadza after yesterday's training session at the match venue in the morning.

The girls looked tough and raring to go in all departments. Merjury Nyaumwe, Fungai Nyamutukwa, Ntombiyelanga Ndlovu and Nomsa Moyo kept goalkeeper Dudu Nkomo busy with their shots on target.

Ethiopia, the surprise package of the competition, are up against a South Africa who are trying to avoid finishing at the bottom of the log. This could work in Zimbabwe's favour.

A win for the East Africans and a loss by the Mighty Warriors could hand Ethiopia a semi-final place. They came to the tournament as rank outsiders, drew 1-1 against Zimbabwe and lost 1-2 to Ghana, courtesy of a controversial last- minute goal, and have earned themselves a lot of respect.

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