The win cements South Africa’s dominance of the competition, which has seen them win seven of the eight tournaments played, and is also a fourth successive success for coach Desiree Ellis, comfortably the most decorated tactician in the regional showpiece event’s history.
Gabriela Salgado proved the hero of the final with a goal and an assist, first laying on a second minute opener for tournament leading scorer Sibulele Holweni.
That early goal stunned Botswana and they never really got into top gear in the game, but can still be immensely proud of reaching their first ever COSAFA Women’s Championship final and collecting a silver medal.
The pacey Salgado added a second midway through the second half, spinning and firing home as the ball fell loose to her in the box.
Botswana were handed a lifeline with five minutes to play when Thanda Mokgabo got in behind the home defence and beat home goalkeeper Andile Dlamini.
But it was South Africa who came closest to another goal as a header from a corner struck the post.
South Africa managed 22 goals in the competition and conceded just three, showing their quality at both ends of the pitch, and few would argue they deserved their triumph.
It is an outstanding achievement, especially given they are without their overseas contingent, many of who would be first team regulars in a full squad.
South African speedster Hildah Magaia was named Player of the Tournament for a number of industrious displays in which she was both a goal-scorer and provider of assists, and central to her team’s success.
Her compatriot Sibulele Holweni won the Golden Boot after scoring eight goals, while the Golden Glove went to Botswana goalkeeper Maitumelo Bosija. Eswatini claimed the Fair Play award.
Meanwhile, Tanzania were crowned champions of the COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship after a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Zambia in the final.
The East African guest nation also hold the COSAFA Women’s Under-20 Championship title from 2019, a competition that could not take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning they have the trophy from two age-groups in their cabinet in Dar es Salaam.
Zambia looked as though it would be they who would triumph though following Comfort Selemani’s super solo goal after 18 minutes.
They led right up until the 93rd minute, but when Tanzania were awarded a penalty in injury-time, the prolific Aisha Masaka stepped up to convert and send the game into a post-match shoot-out.
Tanzania held their nerve under the pressure of penalties and triumphed 4-3 to become the second East African guests to lift the Under-17 prize after Uganda won the inaugural competition in Mauritius last year.
Zambia’s Tisilile Lungu won the Player of the Tournament prize, while to Golden Glove went to her teammate, goalkeeper Chitete Munsaka, as the side conceded just five goals in the competition, the fewest of all the teams.
Masaka of Tanzania lifted the Golden Boot trophy with her 10 goals, while Zambia claimed the Fair Play Award.
Finally, Lungu and South Africa’s Jessica Wade have been selected for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit Spain in 2021, courtesy of LaLiga, after being selected by the Technical Study Group.
The duo will get the opportunity to train with local clubs, experience a LaLiga game and immerse themselves in the local culture, as part of a new partnership signed between COSAFA and the prestigious Spanish league.
The same opportunity will be afforded to two players at the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship that starts in Nelson Mandela Bay on Thursday.
COSAFA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS
Botswana 1 (Mokgabo 85’) South Africa 2 (Holweni 2’, Salgado 66’)
|South Africa (Q)||3||3||0||0||14||0||17||9|
*In order to calculate the best-placed runner-up, the matches involving last-placed Comoros Islands were discarded. So the standings are therefor: South Africa – 6 pts, +7; Angola – 3 pts, -1; Eswatini – 0 pts, -6
Matches Played: 15
Goals scored: 64
Biggest victory: Malawi 9 Lesotho 0 (Group B, November 7)
Most goals in a game: 9 – Malawi 9 Lesotho 0 (Group B, November 7)
8 goals – Sibulele Holweni (South Africa)
7 – Tabitha Chawinga (Malawi)
4 – Nomvula Kgoale (South Africa), Hilda Magaia (South Africa)
3 – Barbra Banda (Zambia), Temwa Chawinga (Malawi), Cristina Makua (Angola), Tenanile Ngcamphalala (Eswatini), Gabriela Salgado (South Africa)
2 – Grace Chanda (Zambia), Phumzile Dlamini (Eswatini), Ireen Lungu (Zambia), Thanda Mokgabo (Botswana), Tebogo Tholekele (Botswana)
1 – Ana Afonso (Angola), Beatriz Augusto (Angola), Prisca Chilufya (Zambia), Karabo Dlamini (South Africa), Lone Gaofetoge (Botswana), Anllaouia Hadhirami Ali (Comoros Islands), Zaharouna Haoudadji (Comoros Islands), Abdourahmane Hairyat (Comoros Islands), Zainabu Kapanda (Malawi), Lonathemba Mhlongo (South Africa), Nonhlanhla Mthandi (South Africa), Maylan Mulenga (Zambia), Celiwe Nkambule (Eswatini), Mokgale Nonjabuliso (Eswatini), Kadosho Shekigenda (Tanzania), Asimenye Simwaka (Malawi)
COSAFA WOMEN’S UNDER-17 CHAMPIONSHIP STATISTICS
Zambia 1 (Selemani 18’) Tanzania 1 (Masaka 90’pen)
Tanzania won 4-3 on penalties
Matches Played: 11
Goals scored: 63
Biggest victory: Tanzania 10 Zimbabwe 1 (November 10); South Africa 9 Comoros 0 (November 12)
Most goals in a game: 11 – Tanzania 10 Zimbabwe 1 (November 10)
10 goals – Aisha Masaka (Tanzania)
5 – Tisilile Lungu (Zambia), Jessica Wade (South Africa)
4 – Nabeelah Galant (South Africa)
3 – Jade Leask (South Africa)
2 – Cindy Banda (Zambia), Taonga Chulu (Zambia), Mwanamvua Haruna (Tanzania), Rudo Machadu (Zimbabwe), Ropafadzo Maferefa (Zimbabwe), Protasia Mbunda (Tanzania), Noussrat Mistoihi (Comoros), Shehat Mohamedi (Tanzania), Comfort Selemani (Zambia), Neema Shibara (Tanzania), Kanalelo Taiwe (South Africa)
1 – Zawadi Athuman (Tanzania), Bupe Banda (Zambia), Mohamed Dalila (Comoros), Ester Gindulya (Tanzania), Koku Kipanga (Tanzania), Irene Kisisa (Tanzania), Joyce Lema (Tanzania), Oyisa Marhasi (South Africa), Thimna Mpehle (South Africa), Brenda Ndarowa (Zimbabwe), Morelife Nyagumbo (Zimbabwe), Tionge Sambo (Zambia), Tyler Scott (South Africa)
Own goal – Shehat Mohamedi (Tanzania)