Ideal start for rusty Banyana

Win over Le­sotho not as im­pres­sive

Sowetan - - Sport - By Daniel Mothowa­gae in Bu­l­awayo

Banyana Banyana made an ideal start to the Cosafa Women’s Cham­pi­onship, but their 3-0 win over Le­sotho was un­char­ac­ter­is­tic for a SA side that would nor­mally bury their re­gional op­po­si­tion.

None­the­less, the vic­tory yes­ter­day gave Banyana tail­sup head­ing into their fix­ture against Namibia to­day (4.30pm). Namibia lead Group C by virtue of a bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence, thanks to their 4-0 win over Botswana in an early kick-off yes­ter­day.

SA made what seemed an easy job against Le­sotho look dif­fi­cult. But it was clear that the team was a bit rusty hav­ing last played a com­pet­i­tive match in Jan­uary.

Le­an­dra Smeda’s strike gave the team an odd-goal lead go­ing into the half-time break, but it could have been more had SA fin­ished off all their chances. At­tack­ers Chantelle Esau and Rhoda Mu­laudzi were the main cul­prits.

It all changed for the bet­ter af­ter the in­tro­duc­tion of Thembi Kgat­lana in the sec­ond half.

The Univer­sity of Western Cape stu­dent spruced up the at­tack with some silky foot­work and also chipped in with a goal.

Esau, how­ever, made amends when she com­pleted the rout later in the game.

Against Namibia to­day, in­terim coach De­siree El­lis faces a team that has proved it got sting in front of goal. Vic­tory to­day will guar­an­tee SA a place in the semi­fi­nals.

/ SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU/ BACK­PAGEPIX

Nwabisa Kolisi of Banyana is chal­lenged by Ler­ato Kheme of Le­sotho yes­ter­day.

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