Mbabane: So near yet so far for Sitsebe SaMhlekazi. The country’s senior women national team surrendered an impressive 3-1 lead to finally lose 3-4 to Angola with 20 minutes remaining and effectively missing out on a historic semi-final appearance in the COSAFA Women Championship.
Tenanile Ngcamphalala put Eswatini ahead, but Beatriz Augusto equalised for Angola. Goals from Celiwe Nkambule and a second by Ngcamphalala extended Sitsebe’s advantage to 3-1, but from then on in it was all Angola.
Ana Afonso made the deficit just one, before a brace from Cristina Makua, including an injury-time winner, sealed the three points for the Angolans.
The semifinal line-up at the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship has become clear, providing two massive match-ups as the competition reaches the business end after the final round of pool matches were played on Monday.
Defending champions South Africa will clash with powerful Malawi in the second semifinal on Thursday, while before that the solid-looking Botswana outfit will take on Zambia, who qualified for the Last 4 as the best-placed runner-up.
All four sides might have eyes on the prize and it is sure to be a fascinating set of matches as they seek a place in Saturday’s final in Nelson Mandela Bay.
It has seen a shift in the semi fixtures as the tournament regulations state that two teams from the same pool cannot meet each other in the semifinals, and with Group B’s Malawi and Zambia both through, that has necessitated a change to the original Last 4 line-up.