Mighty Warriors finish fourth as Malawi clinch maiden Cosafa Women’s Cup title

0
137
Zimbabwe's first choice goalkeeper Cynthia Shonga, who was rested for Sunday's match against Mozambique was named the Cosafa Women's Championship's Goalkeeper of the Tournament

Pretoria – Zimbabwe’s run at the Cosafa Women’s Championship came to an end in disappointing fashion following a 2-0 loss in the third-place playoff match against Mozambique at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria on Sunday.

After their 1-0 semi-final loss to Zambia on Friday, a largely changed Mighty Warriors side failed to go the distance against a vastly improved Mozambique side which ultimately secured the win to finish on the podium for the very first time at the regional tourney.

In a highly tactical game, Mozambique left it until late to score two quick goals through Lucia Moҫambique three minutes to time and Cina Manuel in injury time.

The score could have been higher however Luis Fumo’s side had Deolinda Gove’s goal disallowed two minutes after the hour mark by the VAR, which was consulted for the first time at the tournament.

Zimbabwe’s first-choice goalkeeper Cynthia Shongwe, who was rested for the bronze medal match, was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament having conceded just two goals.

Meanwhile, Malawi produced a resolute performance to defeat favourites Zambia 2-1 in a tightly contested final to win their first Cosafa Women’s Cup title.

Malawi players and technical officials celebrate after beating Zambia 2-1 to clinch the 2023 Cosafa Women’s Championship in Pretoria on Sunday

Asimenye Simwaka’s 35-minute goal and an excellent strike by Sabina Thom deep in the referee’s optional time was enough for the She-Flames to dethrone last year’s winners.

Thom’s goal crushed Zambia’s Copper Queens’ hopes of retaining the title as they may have felt they had a strong chance after second-half substitute Agnes Phiri equalised from the penalty spot in the 84th minute.

This year’s tournament saw Video Assistant Referee (VAR) used for the first time by Cosafa and Malawi were at the receiving end of it as they had a goal ruled out late in the first half.

This was the second time the She-Flames made the final, with their previous appearance being back in 2021 where they lost to invited guest side Tanzania.

She-Flames captain Temwa Chawinga walked away with the Golden Boot having scored nine goals and Player of the Tournament prize.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here