SA roll past Le­sotho

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - In­no­cent Kurira Sports Re­porter

South Africa 3-0 Le­sotho BANYANA Banyana got their 2017 Cosafa Women’s Cham­pi­onship cam­paign off to a per­fect start with a 3-0 de­mo­li­tion of neigh­bours Le­sotho in a group C match played at Lu­veve Sta­dium yes­ter­day.

South Africa started the game on the front foot by at­tack­ing Le­sotho from the first whis­tle.

Le­sotho, how­ever, main­tained a good shape at the back mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for the Banyana front line led by Rhonda Mu­laudzi to breach the de­fence.

It took 27 min­utes for the South Africans to take the lead when Le­an­dra Smeda’s spec­u­la­tive long range ef­fort found the back of the net.

The goal seemed to be a wake-up call for Le­sotho, who slowly got into the game with cap­tain Boi­tumelo Ra­bele dic­tat­ing terms in the mid­dle of the park.

Ra­bele quickly be­came the fans’ favourite with her touches draw­ing ap­plause. She un­leashed a thun­der­bolt in the 40th minute that was, how­ever, well saved by Andile Dlamini in goals for Banyana.

Just be­fore the break, Ke­foue Makoa came close for Le­sotho with a free-kick that can­noned off the up­right. The teams went into the half-time break with Banyana lead­ing 1-0.

Smeda came close at the re­sump­tion of the sec­ond half with a shot that rat­tled the cross bar from in­side the box.

Banyana dou­bled their lead through Chantelle Esau, who showed great com­po­sure in­side the box to slot home.

Chresti­nah Kgat­lana put the game to bed for Banyana by beat­ing the Le­sotho de­fence for pace to score.

Banyana coach, De­siree El­lis said de­spite the win, they were not at their best.

“We did not play as well as we wanted, but it was great to win the first game. We have an­other game to­mor­row and have to fo­cus on our re­cov­ery,” said El­lis.

She said Zim­babwe are the favourites to win tour­na­ment given that they are the hosts.

Le­sotho coach Monts’o Mon­a­heng said his team played well de­spite the loss.

“The girls played well. We were pun­ished for lack of con­cen­tra­tion, but it is only the first game and we have two more to go. Hope­fully, we re­cover from the loss,” said Mon­a­heng.

Mean­while, Swazi­land beat Mauritius 3-0, while Kenya beat Mozam­bique 5-2 in other matches also played at Lu­veve Sta­dium.

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