COSAFA 2017: Zambia stun Kenya to win third bronze medal

Rebecca Magoma. 

Zambia’s Shepolopolo defeated Harambee Starlets of Kenya 4-2 on penalities in the third-place play-off fixture at the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Women’s Championship on Saturday evening.

At Barbourfields Stadium, the teams played out a 1-1 draw in regulation time with Neddy Atieno opening the score for Kenya in the 30th minute before Barbara Banda’s equalizer in the 72nd minute.

Banda took her goal tally to six while Atieno added to her tally of eight.

Dorcas Shikobe and Neddy Atieno’s goals for Kenya proved insufficient as Lucy Mukhwana and Puline Musungu’s spot kicks were saved by Zambia’s custodian Catherine Musonda.

Ireen Lungu, Anita Mulenga, Lweendo Chisamu and Misozi Zulu all scored to ensure Zambia take home a third bronze medal.

In the semi finals, Kenya lost 4-0 to the holders and hosts Mighty Warriors of Zimbabwe, while Zambia dramatically bowed out to Banyana Banyana of South Africa 5-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in regulation time.

The teams started the match sizing each other and sharing chances but it was Kenya that pressed their opponents, forcing them to make mistakes that earned captain Noria Solase and Grace Zulu yellow cards in the 26th and 29th minutes respectively.

After Atieno scored an opener to give Kenya a lead, the starlets intensified attacks but yet again it was Atieno on the attack but Zambia’s custodian Musonda was on top of her game as she pulled a save to deny Atieno a second of the match.

Zambia made their first change with Rachael Lungu paving way for Ireen Lungu in the 38th minute.

The teams went into half time with Kenya leading 1-0.

In the second stanza, Kenya’s coach Richard Kanyi made his first change with  Caroline Onyango paving way for Caroline Kiget onthe hour mark.

Barbra Banda equalized for Zambia 18 minutes from time setting up a grandstand finish.

Coach Kanyi made his second change of the match five minutes after the goal with Lucy Mukhwana taking Phoebe Owiti’s place.

Banda’s strike sent the tie to penalties to decide the winner.

The final will take place on Sunday, September 24 between Zimbabwe and South Africa. Read the final preview here.

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