Banyana Banyana have failed to defend their Cosafa Women’s Cup crown, after they were edged 3-2 by Malawi at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Thursday.
Twice, Banyana had to fight their way into the game with Malawi taking the lead, but the visitors had the loudest cheer as they scored in the dying minutes of the game to win the match.
Banyana looked to be a better side, but the Malawians were solid at the back with Chimwewe Madise trying to stop every SA attack.
But, Banyana did come close to scoring a number of times. However, Malawi would be the ones to register the first goal of the match just seven minutes after the half hour mark, following a Fazila Chembekezo header from close range.
The defending champions had to dig deep now with time to half time nearing by. Banyana’s prayers were finally answered courtesy of Sibulele Holweni just before half-time to make it 1-1.
There weren’t any changes in the performance of the two teams in the opening minutes of the second stanza.
As the game progressed, Malawi gained some momentum and added more numbers going forward.
The visitors took the lead for the second time in the game when Sabina Thom found herself unmarked inside the Banyana box and calmly made it 2-1 to the Malawians in the 74th minute
South Africa weren’t about to give up with their heads still held high in search for the equalising goal.
Some nice foot work saw Melinda Kgadiete being fouled inside the Malawi box, and the referee gave the penalty. Holweni stepped up to take the spot-kick and made it 2-2 going into the last 10 minutes as she grabbed her brace.
Some sloppy defending by Banyana saw Thom get her second goal of the match and the winning goal to send Malawi into the final of the tournament.