COSAFA Women’s Championship semifinal between Malawi and South Africa was amplified as an epic clash involving two sides that tested no defeat on their path to the last four.
Epitomizing the quality of the two sides were China based African prolific strikers Tabitha Chawinga, the Scorchers captain and Banyana Banyana lead goal scorer Holwen Sibulele.
Nonetheless, Malawi’s defensive and goal keeping flaws were vividly laid bare that their South African counterparts showed no respect in the second half on the way to a 6-2 humiliation that sent Banyana Banyana to Saturday’s final.
The result also put Tabitha’s chances of clinching the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship golden boot gong under Sibulele’s threat.
Banyana Banyana will meet Botswana, who earlier in the day defeated the Copper Queens of Zambia 2-1 in another semifinal berth.
The march between the two sides lived up to the hype, with Scorchers and Banyana Banyana threatening at each other’s goal.
The Girls’ stunning authority in the second half was cemented by Mapula Kgoale’s goal in the 51st minute but the Temwa Chawinga leveled the scores 2 minutes later.
The host continued to press even harder for a second goal and Malawi could not put-off the pressure.
Banyana Banyana’s nonstop attacks in Malawi’s half saw the host reclaim their lead in the 62nd minute through Kgoale’s second goal of the match before Hilda Thoalkele Magaia added the third in the 64th minute.
Moments later, Malawi’s defensive feebleness was once again exposed as Magaia completed her hat trick with two more goals scored in the 69th and 76th minute.
They did not just let up as they added the sixth goal in the 74th minute through Holwen Sibulele, the joint top scorer in the tournament alongside Malawi’s Tabitha Chawinga, before the Scorchers skipper scored Malawi’s second goal five minutes later.
The Scorchers suffered from an early red card for number one goalkeeper Samir Amidu for a wild lunge on Hilda Magaia just outside the box just 20 minutes into the first half.
This means, the defending champions South Africa will face Botswana in the decider of the 2020 COSAFA Women’s Championship after both won through contrasting semifinals in Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday.
Botswana edged fancied Zambia 2-1 for a first ever visit to the COSAFA Women’s Championship and on to the cusp of what would be one of their greatest triumphs in the team’s history.
The final will be played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 15h00), the magnificent World Cup venue that serves as a jewel in the Friendly City’s crown.