Ruth Nyirongo of Malawi and Gabriela De Jesus Thomas Salgado of SA during the COSAFA Women's Championship match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on September 28 2021 in Port Elizabeth. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/RICHARD HUGGARD
Ruth Nyirongo of Malawi and Gabriela De Jesus Thomas Salgado of SA during the COSAFA Women's Championship match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on September 28 2021 in Port Elizabeth. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/RICHARD HUGGARD

Banyana Banyana began the defence of their Cosafa Women’s Championship with a 2-1 win against Malawi at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday.

Goals from Melinda Kgadiete in the third minute and Noxolo Cesane in the 37th appeared enough to secure a comfortable victory for SA.

Banyana could have won by far more but missed chances, with a late consolation goal from Wezzie Mvula in the 90th minute making for a scoreline that flattered Malawi.

Banyana are seeking their fifth Cosafa Cup in succession and a fifth for coach Desiree Ellis. SA are out to win their eighth title in all.

The South Africans were physically and tactically stronger and  kept the ball well, scoring two goals by the break.

Malawi had their best chance when left-back Irene Khumalo’s free-kick from deep on the left was headed inches wide by big striker Fazila Chembekezo.

Twelve minutes into the second half Kgadiete’s first-time strike from the edge of the area had the power to force goalie Samira Amidu to push past the right upright.

Left-wing Gabriela Salgado’s shot on the run from a narrow angle also tested Amidu.

Banyana were opening Malawi at will and peppering Amidu with shots from all angles, Cesane producing another from the right.

Given the weight of the home team’s dominance, a 2-1 scoreline seemed an injustice but Banyana had themselves to blame for it.

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