S Africa, Zimbabwe women continue path to Olympics

South Africa and Zimbabwe will fly the COSAFA flag in the third round of qualifiers in the women’s football competition for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this weekend.

The pair are two steps away from playing at the Olympics, which for South Africa would mean a return after they featured in the London games in 2012.

South Africa host Kenya in the first leg of their tie at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.

They will be favourites for a big first leg advantage having eased past Gabon 8-2 on aggregate in the last round.

Kenya defeated another COSAFA side, Botswana, by the narrowest of margins with an away goals victory after the teams finished level at 2-2.

Zimbabwe have a tough assignment as they take on Ivory Coast in Abidjan on Sunday, with their hosts having recently returned from the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

The Ivorians reached this stage after their last round opponents Tunisia withdrew from the competition, while Zimbabwe edged regional rivals Zambia on away goals after they also finished at 2-2.

If South Africa make it through to the next round they will take on the winner of the tie between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, while Cameroon or Ghana are in the path of Zimbabwe.