Banyana secure seventh Cosafa title

SA National Teams

Banyana Banyana secured their seventh COSAFA Women’s Championship title with a 2-1 win over Botswana on Saturday afternoon.

Desiree Ellis made no changes to the side that demolished Malawi in the semi-finals on Thursday, whilst Banyana had a score to settle against Botswana.

Banyana wasted little time to stamp authority seconds from kick-off when Sibulele Holweni made the most of a loose ball off the post to slot in with their counterparts not clearing their lines.

Refilwe Tholekele was provided a big chance to draw Botswana level from a free-kick a little later, but scooped the effort over before Masego Nfandiso saw a rasping strike near the area go wide.

Hildah Magaia, who netted a hat-trick against Malawi, was finally given a sight to goal seven minutes to the break but drilled wide from a far side delivery.

Banyana started the second half just as the first with balls out wide from Gabriela Salgado amongst others leaving a spot of bother while Andile Dlamini rushed off the line to smother Tholekele.

Dlamini needed to do more work on 52 minutes after getting down on the near side to turn a curling free-kick from Tholekele behind for a corner-kick.

Soon after, Banyana put the match at ease midway through the second half when Salgado volleyed home in the area after reacting to a loose ball.

Ellis’ charges were given more openings late on with Robyn Moodaly and Holweni in particular, but the chances weren’t taken with Oratile Mokwena making way for Mapula Kgoale.

Botswana set up a nervy spell four minutes from time when Mokgabo Thanda beat Dlamini to a ball over the top to dink into an empty net.

However, Banyana came close to a third later on with a first-time strike from Mokwena tipped for a corner while Moodaly headed the resultant corner off the post, as the hosts marched to victory.