Rebecca Magoma. Photo Credit: COSAFA
Rutendo Makore scored four goals to give Zimbabwe a deserved win over Madagascar in a Group A clash in the 2017 COSAFA Women’s Championship that was played at Barbourfields Grounds on Wednesday evening.
Makore scored in the 42nd, 48th, 77th and 80th minute to give the hosts a resounding victory and put them in a good position as they seek to retain the title they won in 2012.
From the first blast of the whistle, the hosts who are also the defending champions threatened but their finishing failed them with their opponents keeping a compact defense.
Makore could have opened the scores for the hosts within the first ten minutes but Madagascar’s custodian Diana Vero was up to the task as she made three important saves to keep the scoreline 0-0.
In the 23rd minute, Vero was forced out of her area to clear the ball from a counter attack from the Mighty Warriors.
Four minutes later, Vero was on it again as she made another save from Nobukhosi Ncuba’s free kick from around 25 yards.
The home side took the advantage of the crowd who cheered them throughout the match as they pressed for an opener thereby committing lots of foul as a result.
At the half hour mark, Madagascar conceded a first corner of the match that was taken by Ncuba but it was well defended.
Zimbabwe pressed on forcing Madagascar to do mistakes outside the area but it was well defended.
In the 35th, minute Ncuba provided a cross in the six-yard area but Privilege Mupeti could not connect.
Ncuba had a great match as she provided a cross which Makore converted with a powerful header. The goal left Vero vulnerable after she has had an electrifying performance for 42 minutes.
The defending champions went to the break with a 1-0 lead and continued from where they left off in the second half as Makore notched on a second goal in the 48th minute.
Makore was unstoppable as she added a third in the 77th minute, wrapping it up with a fourth in the 86th minute.
Zimbabwe will face Zambia in their second match of the tournament on Friday.