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Warriors crash at Cosafa semis

by Daniel Itai
08 Aug 2019 at 21:09hrs | Views
It was a thrilling but devastating encounter(s) at the Gelvandale and Wolfson stadium(s) in Port Elizabeth South Africa, where the U20 and senior women's teams were battling off for a place in the finals of the Confederation Of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) Women's Championship tourney.

It started off with the U20 women's side at the Gelvandale stadium against Zambia. Rosemary Mugadza's team started the match with so much spiritedness but the Zambians seemed better prepared.

Mary Mambwe netted the opener for the Zambians in the 37th minute and Zimbabwe found it difficult to level the matters throughout the match resulting in a 1 - 0 loss.

Mugadza was not really disappointed with the result but rather praised her team for the efforts they put, "it was a learning curve coming to this tournament, with the little time that we had to prepare the team, we are proud of the girls that at least we managed to get to the semi-finals."

In another semifinal encounter, guest nation Tanzania easily maneuvered past South Africa by two goals to nil.

Tanzania will be vying to become the first guest nation in any Cosafa tournament, at any level, to claim a trophy win.

Due to today's results South Africa will faceoff against Zimbabwe at the Wolfson stadium on Saturday at 11h00 for the third and fourth playoffs.

On Sunday Zambia will take on Tanzania for the final at the same venue at 11h00.

In the afternoon the senior team, the Mighty Warriors tussled out with host nation South Africa's Banyana Banyana.

Banyana Banyana's participation at the world cup should have given coach Desiree Ellis a lot of insights due to the manner in which they were playing.

Banyana Banyana took an early lead in the 18th minute when Bambanani Mbane headed home a free-kick from Mamello Makhabane, but within three minutes the Mighty Warriors responded to the strike.

Mavis Chirandu took advantage of some confusions within Banyana Banyana's defense and bagged a goal for the Mighty Warriors after picking up a superb pass from Rudo Neshamba.

Ellis's girls restored their lead just before the break when Amanda Mthandi picked up the ball some 35 yards from goal and produced a perfect chip to beat Zimbabwe's goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai after she had advanced too far off her line.
The Mighty Warriors went to the break trailing by one goal hoping to change the tides in the second half.

The second half saw Banyana Banyana attacking more and Zimbabwe defending which ultimately resulted in another goal for Ellis's side.

Busiswe Ndimeni put the last nail on the coffin in the 80th minute when she  leaped for a free-kick in the centre of the area to head into the near post resulting in a 3 - 1 loss.

South Africa's Minister of sport, Nathi Mthethwa was very happy with the result, they have done it again, the girls are through to the Cosafa finals."

Despite the loss, the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) rallied behind newly appointed Mighty Warriors coach, Sithethelelwe Sibanda as they issued a statement saying, "an improvement from 2018 when we didn't make it to the semis stage."

In another semifinal encounter, Zambia managed to reach the Cosafa Women's Championship final for the first time in their history, after they thrashed Botswana by four goals to nil.

The third and fourth payoffs will partake at 15h00 on Saturday at the Wolfson stadium which will see Botswana going head to head with Zimbabwe.

The final of the Cosafa Women's Championship tourney will be played at the the same venue on Sunday at 14h00 were hosts South Africa will take on Zambia.

Source - Daniel Itai