Zambia and Cameroon sealed their places in the semifinals of the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship with comfortable Group B victories in Nelson Mandela Bay on Tuesday.
The pair will face-off on the knockout stages for the second time in the competition as Zambia qualify as the top team in their pool and Central African guest nation Cameroon advance as the best-placed runner-up.
Cameroon crushed Lesotho 6-0 in their final pool match to take their goals tally in three group stage matches to 14, showing their quality and highlighting their status as the third-ranked team on the African continent.
Madeleine Ngono Mani scored a brace of goals to go with strikes from Eliane Bodolo, Edith Ngo Mbeleck, Claudy Ychadeu and Catherine Mbengono as Cameroon proved far too strong for their opponents.
It was still not their biggest win of the tournament having beaten Mozambique 8-1 in their pool opener.
Zambia found the going a little heavier against Mozambique in their final pool game but won 3-0 as Rachel Nachula, Mary Mwakapila and skipper Barbra Banda netted for the She-Polopolo.
Mozambique finished the game with 10 players after a straight red card for Cecilia Mufume.
Zambia finish with a full haul of nine points and have yet to concede a goal in the competition, the only team to have kept three clean-sheets.
Wednesday will be a rest day and the semifinals will take on Thursday, with both matches to be staged at the Wolfson Stadium.
The first will see Zambia clash with Cameroon at 13h00 (11h00 GMT) and will be a repeat of the second Group B game for both sides.
Zambia triumphed 1-0 on that occasion thanks to a goal from Lushomo Mweemba, and it is likely to be another titanic tussle in their semifinal.
South Africa will face Uganda in the second semifinal at 15h30 (13h30 GMT) and will be in confident mood after they defeated Malawi 6-0 in their final pool game on Monday.
Uganda will present a big challenge though as well after they ousted Zimbabwe from the competition.
“Any opponent that we play will come out against Banyana and give their best,” Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk said. “We need to be aware of that, but also focus on ourselves. They are obviously going to analyse us too and focus on our weaknesses and try and prevent us from scoring goals.
“We need to be prepared for anything that comes our way. Coach [Desiree Ellis] will prepare us well for Uganda, show us their strengths and weaknesses, and we just need to come out and perform. If we do that we could be one step ahead of them.
“We have played our style, which is to keep the ball on the ground, go forward and play as a team. We are in it to win it, not for ourselves, but as a team.”
Entrance to the Wolfson Stadium on Thursday will be FREE to the public.
At Wolfson Stadium
Zambia 3 (Rachel Nachula, Mary Mwakapila, Barbra Banda) Mozambique 0
At Westbourne Oval
Cameroon 6 (Eliane Bodolo, Edith Ngo Mbeleck, Madeleine Ngono Mani 2, Claudy Ychadeu, Catherine Mbengono) Lesotho 0
At Wolfson Stadium
13h00 local, 11h00 GMT–Zambia vs Cameroon
15h30 local, 13h30 GMT –South Africa vs Uganda
GROUP A P W D L GF GA PTS
South Africa 3 3 0 0 9 1 9
Botswana 3 1 1 1 2 1 4
Malawi 3 1 0 2 2 8 3
Madagascar 3 0 1 2 1 4 1
GROUP B P W D L GF GA PTS
Zambia 3 3 0 0 6 0 9
Cameroon 3 2 0 1 14 2 6
Mozambique 3 1 0 2 3 12 3
Lesotho 3 0 0 3 1 10 0
GROUP C P W D L GF GA PTS
Uganda 3 2 1 0 6 4 7
Zimbabwe 3 2 0 1 5 2 6
Namibia 3 1 1 1 4 2 4
Eswatini 3 0 0 3 4 11 0
Matches Played: 18
Goals scored: 57
Biggest victory: Cameroon 8 Mozambique 1 (Group B, September 13)
Most goals in a game:9 – Cameroon 8 Mozambique 1 (Group B, September 13)
3 goals – Mpeh Bissong (Cameroon), Linda Motlhalo (South Africa), Khanya Xesi (South Africa)
2 – Barbra Banda (Zambia),Cidalia Cuta (Mozambique), Lina Katuta (Namibia), Madeleine Ngono Mani (Cameroon), Raissa Mbappe (Cameroon), Hasifah Nassuna (Uganda), Celiwe Nkambule (Eswatini), Marjory Nyaumwe (Zimbabwe)
1 –Tracey Akiror (Uganda), Eliane Bodolo (Cameroon), Zainab Kapanda (Malawi), Linda Kasenda (Malawi), Lesego Keleboge (Botswana), Rutendo Makore (Zimbabwe), Litseoana Maloro (Lesotho), Edith Ngo Mbeleck (Cameroon), Catherine Mbengono (Cameroon), Charlene Meyong (Cameroon), Tenanile Mgcamphalala (Eswatini), Lucia Moçambique (Mozambique), Kgaelebane Mohlakoana (South Africa), Lovisa Mulunga (Namibia), Felistas Muzongondi (Zimbabwe), Mary Mwakapila (Zambia), Lushomo Mweemba (Zambia), Juliet Nalukenge (Uganda), Rachel Nachula (Zambia), Resty Nanziri (Uganda), Abena Ninon (Cameroon), Agnes Nkada (Cameroon), Alupo Norah (Uganda), Susan Nyama (Zimbabwe), Lesego Radiakanyo (Botswana), Sarah Rasoanandrasana (Madagascar), Jermaine Seoposenwe (South Africa), Cebile Shongwe (Eswatini), Kylie van Wyk (Namibia), Nothando Vilakazi (South Africa),Claudy Ychadeu (Cameroon), Misozi Zulu (Zambia).