The senior ladies football team competing at the ongoing 2019 edition of the COSAFA Championships staged in South Africa made history by reaching the tournament semi -finals this week.
Botswana advanced to the next round of the tournament after holding Zambia to a goalless draw this past Tuesday. Both teams advanced to the knockout stage with Botswana placed as best runner up.
The local ladies have indeed delivered on the assignment at hand, which was that they advance from the group stages this year. For the first time ever, Botswana came close to reaching the semi finals last year but crashed out in the dying minutes of their game against South Africa.
Despite the core of the senior national team being away in Slovakia preparing for the Olympic qualifiers, the promoted senior team has put a splendid show in South Africa. To this end, the team has not conceded but has four goals scored in three matches. The senior team began their campaign on a high note against Namibia, ending the match with a 1-0 score line. The local side went on to humble Mauritius with a 3-0 drubbing and ending the group stages with a goalless draw against Zambia.
The Mares will face off with Zambia once again in the Semi finals while the hosts who are also the tournament defending champions, South Africa, will play Zimbabwe to determine finalists.
It will be interesting to see how the local ladies respond to their first ever semi-final appearance or if they have drawn inspiration from the men team, the Zebras. The Zebras reached the COSAFA finals recently but failed to bring it home, also suffering defeat to Chipolopolo, Zambia. The women final will be played this coming Saturday.
Meanwhile, the under 20 ladies have bowed out of the competition with two losses and one win. The young Mares could only manage a royal exit by beating Eswatini 3-0 on their last game of the group stages. However, it was not enough to save the day as the team was humiliated in their opening games against Zambia and Tanzania.