Hildah Magaia struck a hat-trick as Banyana Banyana thumped 10-player Malawi 6-2 in their Cosafa Women’s Championship semifinal at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele‚ Port Elizabeth‚ on Thursday.
After a tight first half that had the sides locked at 0-0‚ it rained eight goals in the second stanza.
Banyana will meet Botswana in the final for a chance of clinching their fourth consecutive Cosafa Championship title at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
Thursday’s victory saw Banyana maintain their unbeaten run in the competition. Coach Desiree Ellis’s team beat Angola 2-0 in their opening fixture, following that up with a 5-0 victory over Eswatini. Banyana closed their group stages fixtures with a 7-0 win against Comoros and finished on top of group A.
Botswana made history when they booked their first spot in a Cosafa Women’s Championship final when they beat Zambia 2-1 in the early semifinal.
Malawi were dealt a huge blow against Banyana in the first half when their goalkeeper, Samir Amidu, was sent off for fouling Magaia just outside the area in the 18th minute. Substitute goalkeeper Mercy Sikelo replaced her and had a busy day.
But despite playing against a team with a player down‚ Banyana struggled to get an early opener against the stubborn Malawians in the first half. Both sides had chances at goal but failed to convert.
In the 42nd minute‚ Banyana goalkeeper Andile Dlamini made a heroic save when she found herself one-on-one with Malawi’s danger woman, Tabitha Chawinga.
Banyana’s first goal came from Nomvula Kgoale five minutes into the second half. Chawinga got the equaliser for Malawi from a long-range free kick. Five more goals for Banyana and one for Malawi saw the South Africans comfortably through to the final.
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