With the ticket into the semi-final spot of the Cosafa Women Championships secured, it is all about South Africa avoiding the tournament’s big guns when they entertain surprise package, Tanzania, at Gwanzura Stadium at 12:30pm today.
The game is a dead rubber as both South Africa and the East African country who are participating in the tourney as special guests, are through to the next stage regardless of the outcome of this game, so it is all about who finishes on top of Group B.
Should Tanzania win today, then Banyana Banyana could face Zimbabwe in the next round but if Banyana avoid defeat and secure top spot, then they will avoid their main rival.
Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza yesterday singled out the host as the main threat to their crown which they have won for the past three editions
“There has been a vast improvement for all the teams who are participating in the tournament this year,” noted Mkhonza.
“The last time we played some of them we were winning by 8-0 and 9-0 so I can say there is a lot of competition. It’s always tough to play a host nation especially taking into consideration that the Zimbabwe team has improved a lot since the last time we played them. We beat them home and away in friendly matches but this is a new game, we going to start afresh.
Not taking away anything from the other teams in this competition, but I think Zimbabwe pose a great danger. Remember they are playing in front of their crowd so they have an advantage,” he added.
On the opposition today, Mkhonza said: “Tanzania are very tough, we beat them 2-1 in the African women championships but like I said this is a new tournament. They have done very well so far, we have to fight hard.”
The defending champions lead their group with six points, the same number as Tanzania but have a superior goal difference after thumping Zambia 4-1 in the tournament opener on Saturday before destroying Botswana 4-0, 24 hours later.
On their way to the semis, Tanzania whipped Botswana 3-1 on Saturday afternoon before humbling Zambia 2-0 a day later.
Other group members Botswana and Zambia are out of the competition and will fight it out in a formality match in an early match at Rufaro Stadium.
Group A is still wide open with the host, who played Malawi yesterday perched at the top, while Lesotho are second after their surprise 3-2 victory over Mozambique on Sunday.
The Mighty Warriors will qualify to the semi-finals as the top team and avoid favourites Banyana Banyana if they can beat Mozambique this afternoon at Gwanzura Stadium. Lesotho can also make it to the semis if they can pull another cat from their bag and beat Malawi.