South Africa . . . . . .(0) 1
Tanzania . . . . . . . . . . 0
Defending champions of the ongoing Cosafa Women Championships South Africa were given a good run for their money by a formidable Tanzanian side at Gwanzura Stadium on Tuesday in a match to decide the winner of Group B.
The two teams came into the match tied on six points but separated by goal difference, setting up what turned out to be a thriller of a match.
Banyana Banyana, who had crushed anyone who dared to come their way and were expected to roll past Tanzania had to thank the opposition goalkeeper Sophia Edward Mwasikili who failed to punch away a corner for midfielder Zanele Sukazi to easily head home from close range in the 71st minute.
The win took the Joseph Mkhonza-coached side to nine points in their group and will now meet Malawi in the semi-finals set for Rufaro on Thursday.
Malawi, who are in Group A qualified for the next round after trouncing Lesotho 5-2 in a match played at Rufaro on Tuesday.
Tanzania, who are participating in the tournament on a special guest ticket, finished the group stages with six points and will now meet hosts Zimbabwe in the other semi-final match on Thursday.
Mkhonza admitted he had faced a formidable opposition yesterday compared to what he had seen in the last two games.
“Tanzania are a very strong side, they are one of the best teams in Africa. We fought hard today to get this win. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” said Mkhonza.
Tanzania coach Charles Boniface Mkwanza blamed his defence for conceding a soft goal. He also singled out Rufaro Machingura as the player to watch in the semi-finals.
“The match was good but at the same time very tough. The game should have ended in a 0-0 draw but my goalkeeper made a mistake and we were punished. She was supposed to just punch the ball away and the scorer was not marked so there was also lack of concentration by my defenders. It will be very difficult in the semi-finals because we are playing the hosts. We noticed that they use their striker who wears the number three jersey (Machingura) a lot so we have to contain that player and see what will happen,” said Mkwanza.