Banyana cruise into Cosafa Women’s Championship semis

Mamello Makhabane of South Africa during the COSAFA Women's Championship match between South Africa and Madagascar at Wolfson Stadium on August 05, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Mamello Makhabane of South Africa during the COSAFA Women's Championship match between South Africa and Madagascar at Wolfson Stadium on August 05, 2019 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

Banyana Banyana strolled through to the semi-finals of the Cosafa Women’s Championship beating Madagascar 3-0 in their final group game at Wolfson Stadium on Monday.

Goals from Ode Fulutudilu, Refoloe Jane and Mamello Makhabane ensured Banyana, who are chasing a third successive title, went through the group stage unbeaten.

Banyana will now play Zimbabwe in Thursday’s semi-finals at Wolfson (3.30pm). The other semi-finalists will be decided on Tuesday.

As a result of the victory, the women’s national side finished top of group A with nine points, their others wins coming against Comoros (17-0) and Malawi (3-1).

Monday’s result did not matter for Banyana as Friday’s win against Malawi had already booked them a spot in the next round of the tournament.Banyana coach Des Ellis made six changes to her team‚ which included a 100th cap for midfielder Mamello Makhabane‚ reaching the milestone some 14 year after she made her debut.

She is the eighth South African to pass 100 caps after Amanda Dlamini (105 caps)‚ Refiloe Jane (110)‚ Portia Modise (124)‚ Nothando Vilakazi (132)‚ Nompumelelo Nyandeni (149)‚ Noko Matlou (160) and Janine van Wyk (170).

Van Wyk sat out the game‚ and will miss the remainder of the tournament‚ with a knee injury sustained in the victory over Malawi last time out.

Banyana were the stronger side on Monday and dominated the game from start to finish.

The Madagascar side proved to be no threat to Desiree Ellis’s girls and as a result goalkeeper Andile Dlamini was not even tested.

The first goal came just eight minutes into play with Ode Fulutudilu beat Madagasar’s goalkeeper Verosantatra Andrinandrasana.

Banyana kept on pushing for a second goal and after 36 minutes Makhabane had a chance to double the score but her attempt went straight into the hands of Andrinandrasana.

Refiloe Jane’s spectacular bicycle kick inside the box took the score line to 2-0 in the 37th minute of the game.

Banyana continued with their dominance in the second half and they scored their third when Makhabane’s well-struck, deflected free-kick found the net.

Meanwhile‚ South Africa also made it three wins from three in the inaugural Cosafa Women’s U20 Championship that is also being played in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Basetsana had already sealed their semifinal place before their clash with Mozambique‚ but still ran out 3-1 winners.

Oratile Mokwena‚ Shakeerah Jacobs and Zethembiso Vilakazi found the back of the net as Simphiwe Dludlu’s side march on confidently in the competition.

- Additional reporting by Nick Said

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