Riding the winners wave, Banyana put Comoros to sword
PORT ELIZABETH - Dominant Banyana Banyana wrapped up their Group A assignments at the Cosafa Women’s Championship with a 7-0 thumping victory over Comoros at the Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay on Monday after leading 3-0 at halftime.
Banyana, who are seeking a seventh championship title, will now join Botswana, Zambia and Malawi in the semi-finals starting on Thursday.
Banyana will face Malawi in the second semi.
Just a few seconds into yesterday’s match, Comoros served notice that there will not be a repeat of the 17-0 drubbing they suffered against Banyana in last year’s edition. Comoros striker Anllaouia Ali intercepted a seemingly innocuous back pass in Banyana’s defence but was thwarted by goalkeeper Kaylin Swart in a one-on-one showdown, plumb in front of goal.
The let-off stung Banyana into a quick response and they waged several attacks down the left channels out wide in the next four minutes. The effort was worth at least two goals, but Comoros’ defence remained intact thanks mainly to Banyana’s poor marksmanship.
Midfielder Sibulele Holweni scored Banyana’s opening goal in the seventh minute with a speculative long-range effort from 35m out, and from an acute angle into a strong wind.
The ball sailed over the outstretched hands of Comoros goalkeeper Abdourahmane Hairyat.
Midway through the half, Banyana managed five shots on target which was a poor return considering their 70% possession stake at the time.
Holweni scored goal number two on the half-hour mark after Comoros failed to clear the ball in a goalmouth melee.
At this stage, Banyana retained the ability to dominate in key moments of the game and Hildah Magaia rounded off an excellent team effort on the stroke of halftime for a 3-0 lead.
During the first half, Comoros did not do themselves any favours by trying to stage break-outs from the deep with a short inter-passing game instead of clearing their defensive lines with first-time efforts.
Three minutes after the break, Comoros were under the whip again and this time they conceded two goals in as many minutes. First Holweni scored and in the process recorded Banyana’s first hat-trick at this year’s tournament.
Komvula Kgoale made it 5-0 with a well-struck free-kick outside the Comoros penalty area.
In the final 20 minutes, Banyana fashioned a raft of scoring chances but only scored twice through goalmouth predator Holweni in the final minutes of the match.
Holweni, with five goals, was named Player of the Match and was presented with the match ball.