Red-hot Banyana book COSAFA Champs semi-final spot

Linda Motlhalo (Gallo Images)
Linda Motlhalo (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Banyana Banyana sealed their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 COSAFA Women's Championship on Monday with an emphatic and convincing 6-0 victory over Malawi.

According to SAFA's official website, South Africa were dominant in their win, with head coach Desiree Ellis playing the Houston Dash trio of Janine van Wyk, Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana from the onset.

Van Wyk made history as she made her 150th international appearance, extending her record as the most capped South African player - male and female - and also became the highest capped female player from the continent.

The hosts took the lead on 11 minutes when Kgatlana teed-up Motlhalo on the edge of the box and the latter fired home with a pinpoint shot.

Khanya Xesi moved to joint top of the scorers charts in the tournament with a brace, the first taking advantage of a mix-up at the back for Malawi, and the second an easy tap-in after she was set-up by Kgaelebane Mohlakoana.

Mohlakoana had grabbed a goal of her own just after halftime with a shot after Malawi had failed to clear a cross.

Motlhalo, who was chosen Player of the Match for her efforts, capped a superb individual display with two late goals, the first again set up by the pacey Kgatlana, as she joined Xesi and Cameroon's Mpeh Bissong at the top of the scorers charts.

South Africa has won all their three matches in the group stages, scoring nine goals, and conceding only 1 - against Madagascar in the first match.

They have five goal scorers - Motlhalo, Xesi, Mohlakoana, Nothando Vilakazi and Jermaine Seoposenwe, who was an unused substitute against Malawi.

Ellis had made three changes in the match, and with the result already secured, she introduced fresh legs - bringing on Gabriela Salgado, Nompumelelo Nyandeni and Thato Letsoso (who served her one match suspension the previous game) for Mohlakoana, Xesi and Vilakazi respectively.

Banyana Banyana end on nine points, followed by Botswana on four, with Malawi on three while Madagascar return home with just one point.

This means Banyana will face Uganda in their semi-final.

MONDAY'S RESULTS:

At Wolfson Stadium
Zimbabwe 1 (Rutendo Makore )Uganda 2 (Juliet Nalukenge, Tracey Akiror)
South Africa 6 (Linda Motlhalo 3, Khanya Xesi 2, Kgaelebane Mohlakoana) Malawi 0

At Westbourne Oval
Eswatini 1 (Celiwe Nkambule) Namibia 4 (Kylie van Wyk, Lina Katuta 2, Lovisa Mulunga)
Botswana 0 Madagascar 0

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