Banyana Banyana bowed out of the COSAFA Women’s Championship despite beating Eswatini 3-0 at Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Coach Desiree Ellis’ charges went into the game with nothing but pride to play for after results from other Group B matches went against them. Zambia and Mozambique both won their matches, ensuring that the former finished top of their group while the Mozambicans claimed the other spot as second-best finishers.
Banyana started the first half with determination, despite losing Thalea Smidt in the fourth minute and also knowing that the outcome would not have an impact on their hopes.
Thubelihle Shamase opened the scoring for South Africa in the sixth minute and quickly got another one in the 12th minute to extend the lead for the home side.
Ellis made changes in the second half and gave more players a chance to play in the last game. Nicole Michael, Samkelisiwe Selana and Victoria Muroa (GK) made way for Tshogofatso Motlogelwa, Nomfundo Buthelezi and Dineo Magagula (GK).
Shamase complete her hattrick in the 51st minute and sealed the victory for Banyana Banyana in a performance that also earned her the player of the match accolade.
“Before we played we already knew that we were not progressing, which was a disappointment for the players. But we said let’s go out and respect the game and be professionals, play and enjoy the match,” said Ellis.
“A lot of players that are here have been part of the national set up and that is good for the future.” Article by Ntsako Mkhari
Written by: Lindiwe Mabena