South Africa have been crowned champions of the 2019 COSAFA Women’s Championship after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Zambia in the final at a full Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday (11 August).
It is the third year in a row that the South Africans have claimed the regional title and is their sixth in all from the seven previous championships played as they showcased their quality fresh from an appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The only goal of the game was scored midway through the first half as Tiisetso Makhubela netted with a fierce shot into the roof of the net after Zambia goalkeeper Hazel Nali had spilled a routine catch.
The home side, roared on by the capacity crowd, continued to create most of the chances, but both goalkeepers made excellent saves to keep the scoreline down.
It is still a best-ever performance by Zambia in the COSAFA Women’s Championship as they earned a silver medal, to go with three previous bronzes.
There will be much to build on for them as they now look ahead to an Olympic Games qualifier against Zimbabwe at the end of this month.
Zambia’s Rachael Nachula picked up the Golden Boot award in the competition for her 10 goals, while South African goalkeeper Andile Dlamini won the Golden Glove for her excellent displays.
Hellen Mubanga from Zambia was named the Player of the Tournament as her strong showings took the Shepolopolo to the brink of a maiden title.
The next COSAFA events will be staged next month as the Women’s Under-17 Championship is played in Mauritius from September 13-22.
That will be followed shortly afterwards by the Boys Under-17 Championship in Malawi from September 26-October 5.
The final event in a busy year that sees COSAFA host six tournaments in all will be the Men’s Under-20 Championship in Zambia from December 4-15.