14 September 2017

Botswana/Namibia: Gladiators Trounce Botswana

The Brave Gladiators opened their 2017 Council of Southern African Football Associations' (Cosafa) senior women's challenge with a resounding 4-0 thrashing of Botswana at the Barbourfields Stadium on Wednesday.

Two goals from winger Vistoria Shangula, and one apiece from player of the match Zenatha Coleman and substitute Anna-Marie Shikusho gave the Gladiators a well-deserved victory.

Also on Wednesday, Zambia opened their campaign with a thrilling 6-3 win over Malawi.

The Namibians got on the score-sheet as early as the 15th minute when Shangula finished off a flowing move involving Veweziwa Kotjipati and Coleman, to head her side into the lead.

Coleman then won a penalty in the 40th minute, which she duly converted to extend Namibia's lead to two goals with no reply.

Two minutes later, Shangula got her second, following miscommunication and poor defensive work by the Batswana to raise the score line to 3-0 at half-time.

Namibia seemed to take the foot off the pedal in the second half, but continued to trouble their opponents with their passing game.

Coleman, who was a doubtful starter for the match, was then substituted as a precautionary measure for Shikusho, who took advantage of another poor defensive blunder to score the last goal of the game three minutes from time.

Coach Brian Isaacs was happy with the team's performance, saying winning the first game helps put pressure on their opponents.

"We are now able to plan our next game, knowing that we have set ourselves up perfectly well to stand a chance of progressing from the group stages. Botswana played well, but they made mistakes, for which we punished them," he added.

Botswana's Gaolethlhoo Nkulwisang said a lack of proper preparation by her side was evident as her charges failed to match the Namibians' pace and fitness.

"They put us under intense pressure, and forced us to make mistakes. We could not play our normal game. We are hoping for a better performance in our next match against Lesotho," she said.

Namibia play South Africa at the Barbourfields Stadium on Friday, while Botswana faces Lesotho on the same day at the Luveve Stadium.

The official opening ceremony of the 2017 tournament was due yesterday afternoon before host Zimbabwe faced Madagascar.

In Thursday's action, Mauritius face Swaziland at 10h30; followed by Kenya against Mozambique at 14h00; and South Africa battle Lesotho at 14h00.  Nampa

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