The semifinal line-up at the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship has become clear, providing two massive match-ups as the competition reaches the business end after the final round of pool matches were played on Monday.
Defending champions South Africa will clash with powerful Malawi in the second semifinal on Thursday, while before that the solid-looking Botswana outfit will take on Zambia, who qualified for the Last 4 as the best-placed runner-up.
All four sides might have eyes on the prize and it is sure to be a fascinating set of matches as they seek a place in Saturday’s final in Nelson Mandela Bay.
It has seen a shift in the semi fixtures as the tournament regulations state that two teams from the same pool cannot meet each other in the semifinals, and with Group B’s Malawi and Zambia both through, that has necessitated a change to the original Last 4 line-up.
It was a frantic day filled with four matches on Monday. Malawi won the titanic battle against Zambia with a 1-0 success that saw them finish in top spot in Group B.
It was billed as a clash between the Chawinga sisters, Tabitha and Temwa, and Zambia’s Barbra Banda, and it was the Malawians who came out on top.
Temwa Chawinga stole the limelight from her sister to net the winner just past the half-hour mark and ensure Zambia would face an anxious wait to seal their semifinal place as the best runner-up.
The permutations were in their favour, with the tournament regulations stating that the matches involving the bottom place side in Group A do not count towards the best runner-up calculations.
That left Group B’s Zambia on three points (and +7 goal-difference), Group C’s Tanzania on three points (even goal-difference) and Group A’s Angola on three points (-1 goal-difference).
Botswana sealed top spot in Group C with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe, inflicting a second defeat by the same scoreline on their opponents.
The only goal of the game was netted 17 minutes from time by Tebogo Tholekele to ensure it would be back-to-back semifinal appearances for The Mares, after they also reached the Last 4 in 2019.
South Africa overwhelmed Comoros Islands to record a 7-0 victory, with star of the show 18-year-old Sibulele Holweni, who netted five goals to move joint top of the scorers list with Tabitha Chawinga. Both have netted six times overall.
Nomvula Kgoale and Hilda Magaia were also on target for the rampant hosts, who won this fixture 17-0 last season in a tournament record score.
Angola rallied late on to defeat Eswatini with a thrilling 4-3 success, though it proved not enough to win a semifinal place.
Tenanile Ngcamphalala put Eswatini ahead, but Beatriz Augusto equalised. Goals from Celiwe Nkambule and a second by Ngcamphalala extended the Eswatini advantage to 3-1, but from then on in it was all Angola.
Ana Afonso made the deficit just one, before a brace from Cristina Makua, including an injury-time winner, sealed the three points for the Angolans.
Meanwhile, the games will continue in the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship on Tuesday when Zambia can seal a place in the top two and subsequently the final if they beat Comoros (kick-off 12h30), who are yet to register a point.
The other match sees Tanzania battle Zimbabwe (15h30) in a clash between two other sides with final ambitions.
Victory for Tanzania and they will also seal a final berth, while Zimbabwe need a victory or their hopes will fade.
No fans will be allowed access into the stadiums, but the senior championship matches will be broadcast LIVE on SuperSport’s Variety4 in South Africa, and Variety 4 Africa and Go Select 2, as well as being streamed LIVE on www.cosafa.tv. The Under-17 games will also be on COSAFA.TV.
COSAFA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS
Zimbabwe 0 Botswana 1 (Tholekele 73′)
Zambia 0 Malawi 1 (Te Chawinga 31’)
Angola 4 (Augusto 25′, Afonso 45′, Makua 57′, 90’) Eswatini 3 (Mgcamphalala 4′, 37′, Nkambule 31′)
South Africa 7 (Holweni 8′, 31′, 49’, 87’, 90’, Magaia 42′, Mthandi 51′) Comoros 0
12h00 (10h00 GMT) – Botswana vs Zambia
15h30 (13h30 GMT) – South Africa vs Malawi
|South Africa (Q)||3||3||0||0||14||0||17||9|
*In order to calculate the best-placed runner-up, the matches involving last-placed Comoros Islands were discarded. So the standings are therefore: South Africa – 6 pts, +7; Angola – 3 pts, -1; Eswatini – 0 pts, -6
Matches Played: 12
Goals scored: 50
Biggest victory: Malawi 9 Lesotho 0 (Group B, November 7)
Most goals in a game: 9 – Malawi 9 Lesotho 0 (Group B, November 7)
6 goals – Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi), Sibulele Holweni (South Africa)
3 – Barbra Banda (Zambia), Nomvula Kgoale (South Africa), Cristina Makua (Angola), Tenanile Ngcamphalala (Eswatini)
2 – Grace Chanda (Zambia), Temwa Chawinga (Malawi), Phumzile Dlamini (Eswatini), Gabriela Salgado (South Africa)
1 – Ana Afonso (Angola), Beatriz Augusto (Angola), Prisca Chilufya (Zambia), Karabo Dlamini (South Africa), Anllaouia Hadhirami Ali (Comoros Islands), Zaharouna Haoudadji (Comoros Islands), Abdourahmane Hairyat (Comoros Islands), Zainabu Kapanda (Malawi), Ireen Lungu (Zambia), Hilda Magaia (South Africa), Lonathemba Mhlongo (South Africa), Thanda Mokgabo (Botswana), Maylan Mulenga (Zambia), Celiwe Nkambule (Eswatini), Mokgale Nonjabuliso (Eswatini), Kadosho Shekigenda (Tanzania), Asimenye Simwaka (Malawi), Tebogo Tholekele (Botswana)
COSAFA WOMEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS
12h30 (10h30 GMT) – Zambia vs Comoros
15h30 (13h30 GMT) – Tanzania vs Zimbabwe
Matches Played: 6
Goals scored: 31
Biggest victory: Zimbabwe 0 South Africa 7 (November 6)
Most goals in a game: 7 – Zimbabwe 0 South Africa 7 (November 6); Tanzania 6 South Africa 1 (November 8)
8 goals – Aisha Masaka (Tanzania)
3 – Jessica Wade (South Africa)
2 – Cindy Banda (Zambia), Nabeelah Galant (South Africa), Mwanamvua Haruna (Tanzania), Noussrat Mistoihi (Comoros)
1 – Taonga Chulu (Zambia), Mohamed Dalila (Comoros), Jade Leask (South Africa), Joyce Lema (Tanzania), Tisilile Lungu (Zambia), Ropafadzo Maferefa (Zimbabwe), Oyisa Marhasi (South Africa), Protasia Mbunda (Tanzania),Brenda Ndarowa (Zimbabwe), Morelife Nyagumbo (Zimbabwe), Tyler Scott (South Africa)
Own goal – Shehat Mohamedi (Tanzania)