South Africa have been crowned champions of the 2019 COSAFA Women's Championship after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Zambia in the final at a full Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday (11 August).
It is the third year in a row that the South Africans have claimed the regional title and is their sixth in all from the seven previous championships played as they showcased their quality fresh from an appearance at the FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
The only goal of the game was scored midway through the first half as Tiisetso Makhubela netted with a fierce shot into the roof of the net after Zambia goalkeeper Hazel Nali had spilled a routine catch.
The home side, roared on by the capacity crowd, continued to create most of the chances, but both goalkeepers made excellent saves to keep the scoreline down.
It is still a best-ever performance by Zambia in the COSAFA Women's Championship as they earned a silver medal, to go with three previous bronzes.
There will be much to build on for them as they now look ahead to an Olympic Games qualifier against Zimbabwe at the end of this month.
Zambia's Rachael Nachula picked up the Golden Boot award in the competition for her 10 goals, while South African goalkeeper Andile Dlamini won the Golden Glove for her excellent displays.
Hellen Mubanga from Zambia was named the Player of the Tournament as her strong showings took the Shepolopolo to the brink of a maiden title.
The next COSAFA events will be staged next month as the Women's Under-17 Championship is played in Mauritius from September 13-22.
That will be followed shortly afterwards by the Boys Under-17 Championship in Malawi from September 26-October 5.
The final event in a busy year that sees COSAFA host six tournaments in all will be the Men's Under-20 Championship in Zambia from December 4-15.
COSAFA WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS
At Wolfson Stadium
Zambia 0 South Africa 1 (Makhubela 22')
Matches played: 22
Goals scored: 117
Biggest victory: South Africa 17 Comoros Islands 0 (Group A, July 31)
Most goals in a game: 17 - South Africa 17 Comoros Islands 0 (Group A, July 31)
10 goals - Rachel Nachula (Zambia)
8 - Linda Kasenda (Malawi)
6 - Emmaculate Msipa (Zimbabwe)
5 - Zenatha Coleman (Namibia), Refiloe Jane (South Africa), Amanda Mthandi (South Africa), Rudo Neshamba (Zimbabwe)
4 - Mavis Chirandu (Zimbabwe)
3 - Bambanani Mbane (South Africa),Hellen Mubanga (Zambia), Mary Mwakapila (Zambia), Asimenye Simwaka (Malawi)
2 - Grace Chanda (Zambia),Ode Fulutudilu (South Africa),Zainabu Kapanda (Malawi), Arminda Lopes (Angola), Hilda Magaia (South Africa), Tiisetso Makhubela (South Africa), Laurinda Maonte (Angola), Tenanile Mgcamphalala (Eswatini), Felistas Muzongondi (Zimbabwe), Busiswe Ndimeni (South Africa),Marjoury Nyaumwe (Zimbabwe), Marie Rasoanandrasana (Madagascar), Nomvula Sanga (Eswatini), Sabinah Thom (Malawi)
1 - Michelle Abueng (Botswana), Kholosa Biyana (South Africa), Noxolo Cesane (South Africa), Hellen Chanda (Zambia), Theresa Chewe (Zambia), Rhoda Chileshe (Zambia), Violeta David (Mozambique), Keitumetse Dithebe (Botswana), Phumzile Dlamini (Eswatini), Esalenna Galekhutle (Botswana), Sibonelo Gwebu (Eswatini), Lorraine Jossob (Namibia), Annouscka Kordom (Namibia), Lucia (Mozambique), Mamello Makhabane (South Africa), Cristina Makua (Angola), Wafat Mari (Comoros Islands), Tshegofatso Mosotho (Botswana), Lovisa Tuyakula Mulunga (Namibia), Hanitriniana Nivonirina (Madagascar), Lebogang Ramalepe (South Africa),Aimée Razanampiavy (Madagascar), Solomampionona Razananivo (Madagascar), Anna Shikusho (Namibia), Nonhle Simelane (Eswatini), Beverly Uueziua (Namibia), Salome Vinkhumbu (Malawi)
Own goals - Marie Jerome (Mauritius), Hanifa Melanie (Comoros Islands), Lalaina Razafimanantsoa (Madagascar)
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