South African women’s team defends COSAFA title – sets new record

BOITUMELO RANTAO 

SOUTH Africa’s Banyana Banyana went undefeated to clinch the COSAFA Cup for a record seventh time, defeating Botswana 2-1 in Port Elizabeth.

The hosts were seeking to end their tournament on a high as winger Gabriela Salgado set up Sibulele Holweni to open the scoring early for Desiree Ellis’ team, with her eighth goal of the tournament after just two minutes. 

Salgado herself added her name to the final’s score sheet, making the score 2-0 in the 66th minute to double her team’s lead. Botswana’s Thanda Makgabo fought back in the last five minutes, blasting the ball past Banyana goalkeeper Andile Dlamini to make the final score of 2-1.

The latest regional title success was the fourth for the 2019 Women’s African Coach of the Year and her undefeated team, while Botswana will be consoled by their first-ever runners-up finish.

In the individual accolades, South African forward Hildah Magaia was named Player of the Tournament following her rousing performance throughout the tournament in Banyana Banyana’s triumph.

Magaia’s teammate Sibulele Holweni won the Golden Boot, with eight goals, while Botswana’s goalkeeper Maitumelo Bosija was awarded the Golden Glove and the Eswatini football team bagged the Fair Play award.