Joyous Banyana Banyana retain regional crown
South Africa edge outsiders Zambia to win COSAFA Women’s Championship
Third straight victory and sixth overall for France 2019 participants
Tanzania win maiden edition of U-20 championship
South Africa have again been crowned 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship winners, though they were made to work before seeing off Zambia and earning a sixth title on Sunday.
A lone goal from Tiisetso Makhubela was all the separated the team’s at a buoyant and colourful Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Helped by a capacity crowd, Banyana Banyana created most of the chances, but relied on an error from the Zambia goalkeeper to break the deadlock as Makhubela converted.
It was the best-ever showing from the Zambians - three-time bronze medallists - who kept the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ participants scoreless until midway through the second half.
Zimbabwe claimed bronze with a 3-0 win over Botswana in the two-week, 12-team tournament for southern Africa nations.
The next challenge is 2020 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament qualifiers at the end of the month, where South Africa will meet Botswana and Zambia will face Zimbabwe.
Player of the Tournament: Hellen Mubanga (Zambia) Golden Boot: Rachael Nachula (Zambia) Golden Glove: Andile Dlamini (South Africa)
Meanwhile, the initial COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship was held, with guest nation Tanzania victorious thanks to a winner four minutes from full-time.
The decisive moment saw Protasia Mbunda fire home a spectacular long-range strike as the Tanzanians edged Zambia 2-1 to reverse the scoreline from their meeting in the group stage.
South Africa claimed the bronze medal after they triumphed 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out, following a 1-1 draw with Zimbabwe.