Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Stalwart defender Janine van Wyk made her 150th international appearance and young gun Linda Motlhalo grabbed a hat-trick as Banyana Banyana cruised to a 6-0 victory over Malawi in their Cosafa Women’s Championships Group A clash in Port Elizabeth on Monday.

Banyana top their pool with a maximum haul of nine points and will play Uganda in the semifinals at the same venue on Thursday at 3.30pm.

Coach Desiree Ellis’s side proved far too strong for the Malawians‚ who battled to cope with their pace and skill.

Banyana were ahead on 11 minutes when the Houston Dash duo of Thembi Kgatlana and Motlhalo combined‚ with the latter firing home from the edge of the box.

The score was 2-0 midway through the first half as Khanya Xesi got the first of two goals‚ latching onto the loose ball after a mistake at the back for Malawi. Banyana led 2-0 at the break‚ but extended that advantage seconds into the second half as Kgaelebane Mohlakoana scored.

The excellent Xesi was then on the end of a tap-in as Mohlakoana turned provider.

Xesi moved to joint top of the scorers charts with three goals‚ the same number as Cameroon’s Mpeh Bissong.

But they were joined by Motlhalo as she grabbed a first international hat-trick with two late goals‚ the first having been unselfishly set up by Kgatlana.

Uganda had booked their semifinal place earlier on Monday with a surprise 2-0 win over Zimbabwe‚ who must now wait to see if they will qualify as the best-placed runner-up.

But it seems more likely that Zambia will top Group B and Cameroon will finish as the best runner-up.