Sunday, 03 July 2011 16:49
Tanzania 2-0 Zambia
Lesotho 3-2 Mozambique
Hosts Zimbabwe have started their 2011 COSAFA Women’s Challenge campaign with a 4-0 victory over Lesotho at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare on Saturday.
The Group A clash was a one-sided affair as Zimbabwe took control early on through Rudo Neshamba when she netted inside five minutes, and it was 2-0 midway through the half when Tsitsi Mairosi scored a stunner from range.
Rufaro Machingura made the score 3-0 as she chipped the ball into the back of the net, and the points were made absolutely safe in injury-time when substitute Kudakwshe Basopo tapped home.
Defending champions South Africa were made to work hard but eventually ran out 4-1 winners over Zambia in Group B at the Rufaro Stadium in the early kick-off.
Banyana Banyana took a 2-0 lead after 28 minutes as first star striker Noko Matlou converted from the penalty-spot, before she then forced an own goal from Zambia’s Mulayi Wilombe.
But the Chipolopolo Queens struck back just before halftime as Estas Banda prodded home after good work from Mupopo Kabange.
It was 2-1 at the break, but the South Africans made the game safe with two more goals in the second period. Amanda Dlamini volleyed home from a corner and Matlou found the back of the net to complete her brace and give the scoreline an emphatic look.
“Banyana Banyana played a pressure game, giving the Zambians very little time on the ball and the pressure put on their goalkeeper by Matlou which led to the fourth goal, is an example of the type of discipline and commitment that needs to carry us through the week if we hope to have a chance of lifting the COSAFA Championship title,” South Africa coach Joseph Mkhonza said after the game.
“We cannot afford to underestimate any team at this COSAFA Championship event and will use these matches as preparation for our home-and-away Olympic Qualifiers against Ethiopia in August and September.”
At the Gwanzura Stadium, Mozambique and Malawi played to a 1-1 draw in Group A in the early game, before that, Tanzania take on Zambia (12h30) in a tasty-looking tie that the Chipolopolo Queens must get at least a point from to have any chance of making the last four.
East African special guests Tanzania beat Botswana 3-1 in Group B later on, having led 2-1 at the break.
The action resumes on Sunday when Lesotho need a win against Mozambique to bounce into contention in Group A at the Rufaro Stadium (12h30 kick-off) in what will be a first-ever meeting at this level.
At the Gwanzura Stadium, South Africa can just about make certain of a semifinal place as they tackle Botswana (15h15), where they will be looking for a repeat of their 2002 meeting when Banyana Banyana won 14-0. They also triumphed 5-1 in 2008.
Before that, Tanzania take on Zambia (12h30) in a tasty-looking tie that the Chipolopolo Queens must get at least a point from to have any chance of making the last four.
The match between Zimbabwe and Malawi at the Rufaro Stadium has been moved to Monday so that FIFA President Sepp Blatter can attend the game. It will kick-off at 15h15.
Zimbabwe beat Malawi 6-0 in 2002, their only previous meeting in the competition.
Meanwhile, in another double header at Gwanzura stadium Malawi and Mozambique drew one-all while Tanzania beat Botswana by 3-1 in the second match of the day at the stadium.