Bantwana win silver in maiden COSAFA U17 Women’s Championships

The South African Women’s U-17 National Team (Bantwana) won silver in the inaugural COSAFA U-17 Women’s Championships in Mauritius on Sunday afternoon in a match won by visitors Uganda by 2-1.

The match of two very different halves saw South Africa dominate the first 30 minutes of the match, as they played with the wind to their advantage but failed to penetrate the solid back four of Uganda.

Karabo Mohale, the Bantwana goalkeeper was the saving grace for South Africa in the last 15 minutes of the first half, when she made at least 6 crucial saves to go into the half with the goalless draw.

Uganda came out guns blazing in the second half as they attacked from the first whistle and managed to score the opening goal of the match in the 56th minute when Fauzia Najjemba benefitted from an error by the South African defensive.

The Bantwana lone striker Oyisa Marhazi, who worked tirelessly in the match, was replaced by Tiffany Kortjie in the 58th minute, as Bantwana Head Coach decided to bring on fresher legs.

This worked for South Africa as Tiffany Kortjie got the equalizer in the 75th minute of the match from a beautiful cross by Nabeelah Galant.

Uganda continued to dominate the midfield and had South Africa on the back foot for the last 15 minutes of the match. Juliet Nalukeng, who won top goal scorer of the tournament, got the win for Uganda in the 87th minute when she pounded on a losses ball after another error from the South African defence.

Congratulations to Uganda;said Bantwana head Coach Simphiwe Dludlu.

They really gave us a good match which had many different stages in it. I cannot have asked for more from the players today. They played their hearts out and I am very proud of them for the performance they displayed today.

I believe that we dominated some parts of the first half, and Uganda had a few chances that we saved by our goalkeeper, who did an amazing job today.

The second half was rather tough for us. Uganda really changed the game and manager to get the opening goal. We managed to respond to that but I think their maturity really showed in the later stages of the game and we could not keep up;said Dludlu

We as a team are very happy to have been part of this amazing tournament, and this is a stepping stone for us. We will now go back home, monitor these players and start preparing for our qualifiers.

Source: South Africa Football Association