Eswatini, South Africa start Cosafa campaign on a high note

Eswatini, South Africa start Cosafa campaign on a high note

By Daniel Itai at the Wolfson stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa

Yesterday saw the commencement of the 2020 Women’s Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) tournament with Group A teams teeing off.

Moreover, the tourney kicked off with Eswatini going head to head with the Comoros, what looked like an easy victory for the Comoros soon turned otherwise as Eswatini stole victory from the jaws of defeat.

The Comoros drew the first blood in the wee minutes of the game as Abdourahmane Hairyat netted the opener in the 15th minute.

Hairyat’s first half goal was the only goal separating the two teams prior to the second half. However, 8 minutes into the second half, Anlaouia Hadhiroimi made it two for the Comoros painting a bleak result for Eswatini but just as the Comoros were about to write them off Eswatini’s Phumzile Dlamini pulled one back with 25 minutes still to play.

10 minutes later, Tenanile Mgcamphalala levelled the matters restoring the prospects of Eswatini and Mokgale Nonjabuliso did one better for the Swazi nation in the 87th minute as she managed to put Eswatini in the lead.

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Phumzile Dlamini rose again to the occasion as she made it 4 bagging her bracer along the way in the 91st minute which eventually sealed the game due to their 4 – 2 emphatic victory awarding Eswatini 3 points and landing them at the summit of Group A.

Soon after the first match of the Women’s Cosafa tournament, football revellers were once again ushered to another enticing match between the current defending champions, South Africa and Angola.

The defending champions managed to keep their hopes alive of defending their title for the fourth consecutive time as they easily put 2 past Angola courtesy of Lonathemba Mhlongo’s 40th minute goal and Karabo Dhlamini’s 61st minute goal much to the delight of coach Desiree Ellis following the 2 – 0 victory.

“It was a bit rusty in the beginning but we managed to bag three points. I told them it’s time to make your mark and be top of your game and do not concede any goals and the girls did well today. After today’s game many have now realised that they are part of the national team. Most of the overseas players started in the Cosafa so they have to put their best foot forward.

Now that this game is out of the way we are now focussing on getting ready for the next game against Eswatini. The players have put in a lot of work in training and hopefully that will pay off. I have told them let’s play the way we play and the goals will come around,” said Ellis.

Today Zambia will take on Lesotho in the first game of their group B encounter at 12h30 and later on Zimbabwe will face off against Tanzania at 15h30 in their opening group C encounter with both games being played at the Wolfson stadium.