Rebecca Magoma. Photo Credit: SportTVP
The 2017 edition of the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) Women’s Championship comes to a grand finale on Sunday, September 24, at the Bulawayo Stadium in Zimbabwe.
The eleven-day tournament attracted a record of twelve teams, an upgrade from a previous eight, with the East African country Kenya taking part as the guests.
Hosts and holders, the Mighty Warriors of Zimbabwe will play Banyana Banyana of South Africa in the much anticipated final at the Barbourfields Stadium.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana staged a remarkable comeback in their semi-final encounter to edge out the Shepolopolo of Zambia 5-3 in post match penalities after a 3-3 draw in regulation time.
The Mighty Warriors who were given a lifeline by the guests, showed no mercy as they stunned Kenya 4-0 in the second semi-final encounter.
This will be the third time the sides will meet at the finals in the championship.
South Africa under coach Desiree Ellis defeated Zimbabwe in the 2002 finals with the Mighty Warriors wining the 2011 edition.
This will be a repeat the 2011 finals where Zimbabwe won by a solitary goal at home and this edition won’t be different considering the fact that Mighty Warriors will be backed by the home support.
Three-time winners South Africa, will be seeking for their fourth title while Zimbabwe will be seeking for a second title in this edition.
Players to Watch
Mighty Warriors star, Rutendo Makore will be seeking to add to her goal tally in this match and become the top scorer of the championship.
The confident forward has been the go-to star, scoring in every game in the championship with a record nine goals, the joint top scorer with Malawian international, Tabitha Chawinga.
With Chawinga missing in action, this will be a great opportunity for Makore to win the golden boot.
Zimbabwe’s left back Sheila Makoto has been instrumental in the side providing crosses from the left wing with Berita Kabwe, Marjory Nyaumwe and Priviledge Mupeti also expected to shine in the final.
South Africa’s Captain Jane Refiloe has also been key for her team after guiding the side past Zambia.
Winger Chantelle Essau has been a pillar for the South Africans alongside Vilakazi Nothando.
Custodian Andile Dlamini is expected to keep Makore at bay between the sticks.
Dlamini has been the first choice goalkeeper for South Africa for some time now and the experience will prove crucial in the final.
With their participation at the 2016 RFio Olympics, their experience and fate, lies in their hands.