Banyana Banyana have retained their Cosafa Women’s Championship after a 2-1 win over a stubborn Botswana at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth. South Africa scored a goal in each half to beat the Zebras who were playing in their maiden final in this tournament.
This was good revenge for Banyana Banyana who were denied an opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games after losing to Botswana 3-2 on penalties in September 2019.
Banyana Banyana were looking to make history by winning their fourth Cosafa Women’s Championship in a row. The hosts had already won four games in a row in 2020’s tournament, scoring an impressive 20 goals in the process.
They finished top of their group having scored 14 goals, and went on to beat Malawi 6-2 in the semi-final.
On the other hand, Botswana also made their own history in 2020 by reaching their first ever Cosafa final. They also finished top of Group B and beat Zambia 2-1 in the semi’s to reach the final.
Banyana Banyana enjoyed a good head-to-head record after beating Botswana in four previous meetings, with one encounter ending in a draw.
South Africa had a brilliant start with Sibulele Holweni putting them in the lead in the second minute of the match with her eighth goal of the season, which is the fastest goal of 2020’s tournament.
Botswana then upped the tempo and matched Banyana Banyana pound for pound.
Hilda Magaia fluffed an opportunity to increase the lead for the homeside in the 37th minute. Another attempt by Mapula Kgoale went narrowly wide.
Andile Dlamini denied the Zebras an equaliser, on the stroke of half-time, to ensure that Banyana kept their slender lead at the break.
Banyana Banyana continued to dominate ball possession and it came as no surprise when midfielder Gabriela Salgado managed to make it 2-0 in the 66th minute. The hosts did not take their foot off the pedal in search of more goals.
Botswana managed to reduce the deficit with only five minutes remaining with a goal from Makgabo Thanda after a goalkeeping blunder.
Oratile Mokoena was denied by the Botswana keeper late in the match.
Banyana Banyana could have scored an avalanche of goals, but they were denied by the post on the stroke of full-time.
This was the seventh COSAFA Women’s Championship title for South Africa and the fourth one in a row for former Banyana Banyana captain Desiree Ellis, who took over as coach in late 2016.
— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) November 14, 2020