Soccer

Banyana off to winning start

2011-07-02 16:16
Banyana (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - South Africa got off to a cracking start with a 4-1 thumping of Zambia in the opening Group B fixture of the Confederation of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Women's Championships in Zimbabwe on Saturday.

Striker Noko Matlou, who scored a brace, gave Banyana Banyana the early advantage when she fired one in from the penalty spot in the 21st minute after she was brought down in the Zambian penalty area.

Seven minutes later, Matlou produced a well-angled cross from the left, which Zambian Mulayi Wilombe tried to clear away from the posts but turned into her own goal net.

Zambia pulled one back on the stroke of half-time when Etas Banda scored after latching on to a cross from Mupopo Kabange.

Seven minutes after the restart, Banyana captain Amanda Dlamini scored South Africa's third, and Matlou netted their fourth in the 61st minute.

Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza said he hoped his team would hold their form throughout the competition.

"We played a pressure game, giving the Zambians very little time on the ball," Mkhonza said.

"The pressure put on their goalkeeper by Matlou, which led to the fourth goal, is an example of the type of discipline and commitment that needs to carry us through the week if we hope to have a chance of lifting the Cosafa Championship title."

Mkhonza said Banyana were using the tournament as preparation for their Olympic qualifiers against Ethiopia in August and September.

South Africa were set to face Botswana in their second Group B fixture in Harare on Sunday.

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