Hellen Mubanga scored two goals as Zambia edged Namibia 3-2 in a thrilling COSAFA Women’s Championship Group B clash at the Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay on Saturday.
The victory took Zambia to six points in their pool, the same number as Botswana, who defeated Mauritius 3-0 in the other match in the pool to set up a decider for a semifinal place at the top of the table on Monday.
Mubanga netted in either half, while Mary Mwakapila netted on the hour-mark for the Zambians.
Skipper Zenatha Coleman had levelled for Namibia before halftime from the penalty-spot, but after they had fallen 3-1 behind, Annouscka Kordom pulled a goal back to set-up a grandstand finish.
Esalenna Galekhutle, Tshegofatso Mosotho and Keitumetse Dithebe all scored fro Botswana as they overcome Mauritius 3-0.
It was certainly an improved performance from the islanders, who had been thumped 15-0 by Zambia in their opener.
Eswatini made it two wins from two when they defeated Angola 4-0 in another comprehensive display that kept their semifinal hopes very much alive.
Tenanile Mgcamphalala, Sibonelo Gwebu, Nomvula Sanga and Nonhle Simelane were all on target for Eswatini.
Sunday will be a rest day in the senior championship, with Groups A and C to be decided on Monday, when the final round of matches are played consecutively.
South Africa need just a point against Madagascar at the Wolfson Stadium (12h45 kick-off; 10h45 GMT) to secure top spot in the pool and a place in the semifinals.
They will be without skipper Janine van Wyk, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a knee injury picked up in Friday’s 3-1 win over Malawi.
If Madagascar can grab a victory, and Malawi defeat Comoros Islands at the Gelvandale Stadium (12h45; 10h45 GMT) as expected, it would leave all three sides on six points and time for the calculators to determine which side advances.
Only the top team in each pool and the best-placed runner-up move to the semifinals.
Group C will also conclude on Sunday as Zimbabwe and Eswatini (15h30; 13h30 GMT) battle it out for top spot in the pool and a semifinal place at the Wolfson Stadium.
Zimbabwe will need just a draw given their superior goal-difference, but it is a tough game to call with both sides in form.
At the same time, Angola and Mozambique will play at the Gelvandale Stadium to avoid the wooden spoon in the pool.
Meanwhile, there were two fantastic contests in the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship on Saturday as hosts South Africa sealed their place in the semifinals with a 1-0 victory over Namibia.
Shakeerah Jacobs scored the only goal of the game on 10 minutes as South Africa moved to six points and now cannot finish outside of the top two in the pool, which is enough for a semifinal place in this competition.
Zimbabwe secured an emphatic 4-0 victory over Mozambique to get their campaign back on track and set up a winner-takes-all meeting with Namibia on Monday.
Zimbabwe will in fact need just a draw in their game to advance given their superior goal-difference in the pool.
Dinah Banda, Talent Bizeki, Rennie Mudimu and goalkeeper Cynthia Shonga, from the penalty spot, secured the win for the Zimbabweans.
There will be two matches played in Group B on Sunday as Zambia take on Botswana (11h00 kick-off; 09h00 GMT) and East African guest nation Tanzania clash with Eswatini (14h00; 12h00).
Zambia and Tanzania were victorious in their openers and wins for each would push them both into the knockout round.
Matches at both venues have FREE entry to fans, who can collect tickets from:
COSAFA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Spar – Daku
Spar – New Brighton
Spar – Zonke (Motherwell)
U Save – Opposite Wolfson Stadium
COSAFA WOMEN’S UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP
Spar – Gelvandale
Spar – Espen Heights
Spar – Algoa
Spar – Algoa Foods
COSAFA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS
All Wolfson Stadium
Zambia 3 (Mubanga 37’, 76’, Mwakapila 60’) Namibia 2 (Coleman 42’ pen, Kordom 79’)
Mauritius 0 Botswana 3 (Galekhutle 21′, Mosotho 37′, Dithebe 77′)
Angola 0 Eswatini 4 (Mgcamphalala 6′, Gwebu 57′, Sanga 65’, Simelane 90’)
12h45 (10h45 GMT) – South Africa vs Madagascar – Wolfson Stadium
12h45 (10h45 GMT) – Malawi vs Comoros – Gelvandale Stadium
15h30 (13h30 GMT) – Zimbabwe vs Eswatini – Wolfson Stadium
15h30 (13h30 GMT) – Mozambique vs Angola – Gelvandale Stadium
GROUP A P W D L GF GA PTS|
South Africa 2 2 0 0 20 1 6
Madagascar 2 1 0 1 5 3 3
Malawi 2 1 0 1 3 3 3
Comoros Islands 2 0 0 2 1 22 0
GROUP B P W D L GF GA PTS
Zambia 2 2 0 0 18 2 6
Botswana 2 2 0 0 4 0 6
Namibia 2 0 0 2 2 4 0
Mauritius 2 0 0 2 0 18 0
GROUP C P W D L GF GA PTS
Zimbabwe 2 2 0 0 8 1 6
Eswatini 2 2 0 0 7 1 6
Mozambique 2 0 0 2 1 7 0
Angola 2 0 0 2 1 8 0
Matches Played: 12
Goals scored: 70
Biggest victory: South Africa 17 Comoros Islands 0 (Group A, July 31)
Most goals in a game: 17 – South Africa 17 Comoros Islands 0 (Group A, July 31)
8 goals – Rachel Nachula (Zambia)
4 – Refiloe Jane (South Africa), Amanda Mthandi (South Africa), Rudo Neshamba (Zimbabwe)
2 – Grace Chanda (Zambia),Hilda Magaia (South Africa), Bambanani Mbane (South Africa), Tenanile Mgcamphalala (Eswatini), Emmaculate Msipa (Zimbabwe), Hellen Mubanga (Zambia), Mary Mwakapila (Zambia), Marjoury Nyaumwe (Zimbabwe), Marie Rasoanandrasana (Madagascar), Nomvula Sanga (Eswatini)
1 –Michelle Abueng (Botswana), Kholosa Biyana (South Africa), Noxolo Cesane (South Africa), Hellen Chanda (Zambia), Theresa Chewe (Zambia), Rhoda Chileshe (Zambia), Zenatha Coleman (Namibia), Keitumetse Dithebe (Botswana), Phumzile Dlamini (Eswatini), Ode Fulutudilu (South Africa), Esalenna Galekhutle (Botswana), Sibonelo Gwebu (Eswatini), Zainabu Kapanda (Malawi), Annouscka Kordom (Namibia), Lucia (Mozambique), Tiisetso Makhubela (South Africa), Mamello Makhabane (South Africa), Cristina Makua (Angola), Wafat Mari (Comoros Islands), Tshegofatso Mosotho (Botswana), Busiswe Ndimeni (South Africa), Hanitriniana Nivonirina (Madagascar), Lebogang Ramalepe (South Africa), Aimée Razanampiavy (Madagascar), Solomampionona Razananivo (Madagascar), Nonhle Simelane (Eswatini), Asimenye Simwaka (Malawi), Salome Vinkhumbu (Malawi)
Own goals –Marie Jerome (Mauritius), Hanifa Melanie (Comoros Islands)
COSAFA WOMEN’S UNDER-20 CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS
All Gelvandale Stadium
Zimbabwe 4 (Bizeki 17’, Banda 35’, Shonga 78’ pen, Mudimu 79’) Mozambique 0
Namibia 0 South Africa 1(Jacobs 10’)
All Gelvandale Stadium
11h00 (09h00 GMT) –Botswana vs Zambia
14h00 (12h00 GMT) –Tanzania vs Eswatini
GROUP A P W D L GF GA PTS
South Africa (Q) 2 2 0 0 4 0 6
Zimbabwe 2 1 0 1 4 3 3
Namibia 2 1 0 1 2 2 3
Mozambique 2 0 0 2 1 6 0
GROUP B P W D L GF GA PTS
Zambia 1 1 0 0 4 0 3
Tanzania 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
Botswana 1 0 0 1 0 2 0
Eswatini 1 0 0 1 0 4 0
Matches Played: 6
Goals scored: 17
Biggest victory: Zambia 4 Eswatini 0 (Group B, August 2); Zimbabwe 4 Mozambique 0 (Group A, August 3)
Most goals in a game: 4 – Zambia 4 Eswatini 0 (Group B, August 2); Zimbabwe 4 Mozambique 0 (Group A, August 3)
2 goals – Shakeerah Jacobs (South Africa), Maylan Mulenga (Zambia)
1 – Veronica April (Namibia), Dinah Banda (Zimbabwe), Talent Bizeki (Zimbabwe), Ember Edwards (South Africa), Indira Jacobs (Namibia), Tyla-Bree Joss (South Africa), Dulce Lopes (Mozambique), Mary Mambwe (Zambia), Rennie Mudimu (Zimbabwe), Opa Sanga (Tanzania), Cynthia Shonga (Zimbabwe)
Own goals – Ncedo Gamedze (Eswatini), Thuto Radipitse (Botswana)