Tanzania lifted inaugural COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over luckless Zambia in the final.
Zambia had triumphed by the same scoreline in their meeting in the group stages, but it was roles reversed as the East Africans this time came out on top.
After a cagey beginning, Tanzania took the lead when Opa Sanga swept home a cross from the left-wing, her third goal of the tournament.
Tanzania had a few opportunities to add to that lead, but were pegged back 10 minutes into the second period when Loveness Malunga netted a wonderful equalizer.
She picked up the ball on the edge of the box and rifled home a shot to bring the score level.
It looked as though the game would be headed for penalties before Protasia Mbunda scored a stunning winner with five minutes remaining.
The ball was cleared to her 30 yards from goal and she crashed a shot into the net from that distance, beating Zambia goalkeeper Anna Mukumbuta with her pace and power.
That sparked wild scenes of celebration and Tanzania were able to hold on for the win and lift the trophy.
Maylan Mulenga from Zambia won the Golden Boot award with five goals, while her compatriot Cynthia Shonga was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
The Player of the Tournament prize went to Enekia Lunyamila from Tanzania, who was a star throughout.
The next COSAFA events will be staged next month as the Women’s Under-17 Championship is played in Mauritius from September 13-22.
That will be followed shortly afterwards by the Boys Under-17 Championship in Malawi from September 26-October 5.
The final event in a busy year that sees COSAFA host six tournaments in all will be the Men’s Under-20 Championship in Zambia from December 4-15.