Home Sport Rugby Banyana secure Cosafa hat-trick

Banyana secure Cosafa hat-trick

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The Cosafa Cup proved to be their redemption, winning it with a 100 percent win record.

South Africa celebrate being crowned champions after their 2019 Cosafa Womens Championship final against Zambia yesterday. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu BackpagePix

South Africa(1) 1

Makhubela 22’

Zambia0

Banyana Banyana bagged their third successive Cosafa Championship after defeating Zambia 1-0 in the final at the packed Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth yesterday afternoon.

This result ensured Banyana have won the Cosafa Cup for the fifth time in six finals. Moreover, this was the second time Refiloe Jane inspired her compatriots to a successful regional competition in three years.

The South Africans, who’ve been under strain this year after enduring a 13-game winless streak before this tournament, where desperately in need of a turning point to boost their confidence ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers.

The Cosafa Cup proved to be their redemption, winning it with a 100 percent win record.

Coming into this encounter, Desiree Ellis’ troops had to do well in maintaining shape in order to keep their impressive record intact of conceding fewer goals, while scoring more than any other team.

And Banyana Banyana heeded the instructions, Tiisetso Makhubela scoring the game’s solitary goal during the first half. Makhubela pounced onto the loose ball following a blunder from Zambia goalkeeper Hazel Nali. But it could have been more for the South Africans if only they had been able to be more clinical upfront.

After being teed-up by Lebohang Ramalepe with a delightful cross down the right wing, Noxola Cesane created acres of space for herself before disappointingly misqueueing the ball to give the Zambians a slight opportunity at getting back into the game in the second half.

However, though the Zambians came out guns blazing in the second stanza obviously wanting to restore parity, a lapse of concentration from striker Grace Chanda saw them miss their only real opportunity of the game.

The Zambians didn’t drop their heads as they went in search of the equaliser, but they were let down by their finishing in the final third.

Following sloppy defending from Banyana, Rhoda Chileshe got on the end of a loose ball before watching her shot at goal skied into the stands.

At the other end of the park the Ellis-coached team nearly secured their second goal of the game as some defensive confusion amongst the Zambians saw Nali come off her line, but Amanda Mthandi’s efforts were wayward and the follow-up from Robyn Moodlay was in vain as the Zambian defence had already regrouped.

However, it was Ode Fulutudilu that should have put the icing on the cake for her side. The SA forward raced her way between two Zambians centre-backs before her cheeky chip over Nali drifted wide of an empty net.

The single-goal result wouldn’t do Ellis’ troops any harm though as they’ll regroup to prepare for their Olympic Games qualifier against Botswana on August 30.

Add to the fact that Ellis will also have some of the overseas-based players back for selection after they missed the tournament as it doesn’t fall under the Fifa dates.