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Tanzania beats Botswana to seal semifinal spot

Tanzania beats Botswana to seal semifinal spot

Tanzania became the first team to seal a place in the semifinals of the 2021 COSAFA Women’s Championship when they defeated Botswana 2-0 in their Group B clash at the Madibaz Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay on Saturday.

The win means the East African guest nation will not be caught at the top of the pool as their six points can’t be beaten and they would be ahead of both Botswana and Zimbabwe on head-to-head, which is how group positions are calculated in the tournament.

Zimbabwe were given a scare when they needed a late goal to defeat South Sudan 2-1 in the other fixture in the pool.

Tanzania scored in either half to defeat last season’s beaten finalists Botswana as both Donisia Minja and Mwanahamisi Shurua netted their second goals of the campaign in what was a thoroughly professional display from the side, especially Player of the Match Fatuma Suleimani.

Botswana and Zimbabwe will now each hope to get a win when those sides clash on Monday to take one of them to six points and in the running as the best-placed runner-up to also advance to the semifinals.

Zimbabwe grabbed an early goal in their contest against South Sudan as Rudo Neshamba netted after 12 minutes and it looked as though that would be the start of a rush of scoring. But South Sudan showed they had learnt much from their 7-0 defeat to Botswana in their opener and were more compact and defensively sound, while also creating some opportunities themselves.

They were rewarded when Chieng Riek raced clear to score on 77 minutes and suddenly it looked as though they would earn a first point at the tournament. But Zimbabwe would not be denied, and Marjory Nyaumwe scored a winner six minutes later to deny the Sudanese a famous result. South Sudan captain Amy Lasu was named Player of the Match.

The second round of matches in Group C will be played on Sunday with Uganda facing Eswatini in the opening game at 12h00 CAT.

Uganda were held to a draw in their opener against Namibia and will want more precision in the opposition box against an Eswatini side who must get a win to keep their semifinal hopes alive. A draw suits nobody.

Zambia, who beat Eswatini 5-0 in their opener, can take a giant step towards the knockout stages of they beat Namibia in the second game (15h30 CAT).

With only the top team in each pool and the best placed runner-up among the three groups going through to the semifinals, the margin for error for all the sides is very small.

The teams are also building towards the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that begin next month.

All matches will be streamed live on www.cosafa.tv and also available on SuperSport, with selected games to be shown on SABC.

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