If Banyana Banyana’s rampant display in the Cosafa Women’s Championship is anything to go by, South Africa are odds-on favourites to retain their crown in the regional tournament.
Coach Desiree Ellis’ charges face Botswana in the final at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Victory for Banyana will earn them a record fourth title in a row.
The final also presents South Africa a chance to avenge their defeat by Botswana during the Olympic Games qualifiers last year.
The landlocked nation ended Banyana’s dream through a penalty shoot-out at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg in September last year.
The two sides had failed to score in regulation time over two legs of the third round clash.
However, Saturday could prove different as Banyana head into the Cosafa Championship final with an unblemished record having won all their group matches.
What caught the eye was the ruthlessness as South Africa brushed aside their opponents on their way to the final. Banyana have netted 20 goals in four matches and conceded just two.
Teenage sensation Sibulele Holweni is the competition’s leading scorer with seven goals.
Banyana thumped Malawi 6-2 in their semifinal on Thursday, while Botswana had earlier edged Zambia 2-1.
Ellis was impressed by how her fresh-faced squad have taken their chances at the regional tournament.
“I am proud of this new group of players because we previously said it’s their time to make their mark and raise their hands,” said the reigning CAF coach of the year.
She specifically hailed her charges for “executing the plan perfectly”, but was disappointed they conceded two goals even though they were in control of the game against Malawi.
“But overall it was a joy to watch,” enthused Ellis.