BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO ZIMBABWE Under-21 ladies field hockey team will battle for a ninth placement finish as they clash with Austria this afternoon at the ongoing FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in South Africa.
The team finished their pool matches sitting on third position after defeating Canada in their opener before defeats by the United States and Netherlands.
The tournament started on April 1 and is ending on April 11.
Team coach Tendai Maredza is impressed with what his charges have achieved and he hopes that they will pull through today and get a top 10 finish.
“I’m feeling great. Obviously, the girls have proved that with more support, we can go a long way. It’s not easy coming to these World Cup tournaments with the resources that we have and competing at this highest level. So, I’m very proud of the ladies and very proud of what we have achieved so far. Hopefully, we will finish off well in the top 10,” he said.
Maredza is wary of the threat that Austria pose and admits his team will need to be on top of their game if it is to come out with a positive result.
“Austria are a good side and they will obviously want to win that game. I think it is going to be an interesting game. We just need to make sure that we play well, we stay disciplined and score goals,” he said.
“If we win the match tomorrow (today), then we play for ninth and 10th position and if we lose the match, then we play for 11th and 12th position on Monday.”
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There is only a single injury in the camp so far, but otherwise the rest of the team is good to go.
“The morale is good, we just got one major injury, Mazvita Mtausi-Gwaradzimba, but our physio is working on that and getting all our players ready for the final team matches,” he said.
Follow Magreth on Twitter @MagrethRuzvidzo