2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship – Day Two Review / Day Three Preview

Football - 2017 COSAFA Women's Championship - South Africa v Lesotho - Luveve Stadium - BulawayoThree-time winners South Africa got their 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship Group C campaign off to a positive start with a 3-0 victory over Lesotho at Luveve Stadium on Thursday.

 

Banyana Banyana dominated the match and scored their goals through Leandra Smeda, Chantelle Esau and Thembi Kgatlane, though Lesotho put up a good fight and showed plenty of quality. South Africa held a slender 1-0 lead at the break, but turned up the heat in the second period to extend their record in the competition to 19 wins from 20 matches, their only ever defeat coming against Zimbabwe in the final six years ago.

 

Swaziland defeated Mauritius 3-0, including a striker after 15 seconds by Nomvula Sanga, the quickest goal scored in the history of the COSAFA Women’s Championships. The Swazis doubled their advantage 10 minutes before the break when Nobuhle Mdluli had a tap-in having been set-up by Celiwe Nkambule.

 

Nkambule then got on the scoresheet herself late on when she thundered home a fine drive.

 

Mauritius had finished the game with 10 players after midfielder Marie Kelly was sent-off with 16 minutes to play.    Kenya beat Mozambique 5-2 with three late goals in their Group B clash with Neddy Okoth grabbing a hat-trick.

 

Lucia had put Mozambique in front with an excellent free-kick, before Okoth equalised midway through the first half.     Lucia grabbed a second to put Mozambique back in front shortly after the break, but Okoth produced a remarkable diving header to level the scores once more.

 

Mwanahalima Adam then gave Kenya the lead, before Okoth completed her hat-trick late on to make the points safe.   There was still time for Phoeby Owiti to add a fifth with a fine free-kick in injury-time.

 

South Africa will be in action again on Friday afternoon when they take on Namibia (16h30 local; 14h30 GMT) in a match at the Barbourfields Stadium that could decide the top spot in Group C with both having had handsome wins in their opener.

 

Banyana Banyana must overcome fatigue with Namibia having had a full days’ rest in between their 4-0 victory over Botswana on Wednesday.

 

There is also a potential pool decider in Group A when hosts Zimbabwe clash with old foes Zambia (14h00 local; 12h00 GMT).

 

These two sides also had wins in their first pool match, though Zambia will want to tighten up defensively after a 6-3 victory over Malawi, while Zimbabwe crushed Madagascar 4-0, with striker Rutendo Makore netting all four goals for the hosts.

 

The first game on Friday sees Madagascar take on Malawi (10h30 local; 08h30 GMT) with both teams needing a victory to mount a serious challenge for a semifinal place.

 

 

 

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

All at Luveve Stadium

Mauritius 0 Swaziland 3 (Sanga 1′, Mdluli 32′, Nkambule 86’)

South Africa 3 (Smeda 28’, Esau 67’, Kgatlana 73’) Lesotho 0

Kenya 5 (Okoth 23′, 58′, 87’, Adam 84’, Owiti 90’) Mozambique 2 (Lucia 9’, 49’)

FRIDAY’S FIXTURES

All at Barbourfields Stadium

Madagascar vs Malawi (10h30 local; 08h30 GMT)

Zimbabwe vs Zambia (14h00 local; 12h00 GMT)

South Africa vs Namibia (16h30 local; 14h30 GMT)

 

 

 

GROUP A                    P          W        D         L          GF       GA       PTS

Zimbabwe                      1          1          0          0          4          0          3

Zambia                           1          1          0          0          6          3          3

Malawi                           1          0          0          1          3          6          0

Madagascar                  1          0          0          1          0          4          0

 

 

GROUP B                    P          W        D         L          GF       GA       PTS

Kenya                              1          1          0          0          5          2          3

Swaziland                       1          1          0          0          3          0          3

Mozambique                 1          0          0          1          2          5          0

Mauritius                       1          0          0          1          0          3          0

 

GROUP C                     P          W        D         L          GF       GA       PTS

Namibia                           1          1          0          0          4          0          3

South Africa                    1          1          0          0          3          0          3

Lesotho                            1          0          0          1          0          3          0

Botswana                         1          0          0          1          0          4          0

 

 

 

TOURNAMENT STATS

Matches Played: 6

Goals scored: 30

Biggest victory: Zimbabwe 4 Madagascar 0 (Group A, September 13)

Most goals in a game: 9 – Zambia 6 Malawi 3 (Group A, September 13)

 

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