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Defiant Mares Go Down COSAFA Final

KABELO BORANABI
The Mares received their first-ever silver medals at the COSAFA Cup after losing 2-1 to South Africa in the final PIC: BFA
Following brilliant displays at the COSAFA Women’s Championship, which saw them reach their first ever final of the competition, the Mares fall short of lifting the trophy.

The match played on Saturday afternoon ended 2-1 in favour of the hosts, South Africa.

 It was the Mares’ eighth appearance in the tournament and they faced Banyana Banyana who were looking to win their fourth consecutive title. Banyana were also out for revenge after surprise elimination from the 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers at the hands of the Mares.

In a game played at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, the host took the lead as early as the second minute with Gabriela Salgado setting up Sibulele Holweni who tucked in home. The local girls had to do much of the defending in the first half and were happy to be led by a slim margin going into the halftime break.

Banyana continued where they left off with Mares’ goalkeeper, Sedilame Bosija being the busier of the two goalkeepers. She

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saved six of the eight shots she faced in the final eventually being voted as the player of the match. On the 56th minute, she was however left hapless as Salgado added a second, spinning and firing home as the ball fell loose to her in the box.

The Mares were handed a lifeline with five minutes to play when Thanda Mokgabo got in behind the home defence and beat goalkeeper Andile Dlamini. But it was South Africa who came closest to another goal as a header from a corner struck the post.

The hosts held their 2-1 lead to lift their seventh title in eight editions of the competition. Following her marvelous displays between the posts, Bosija was voted the best goalkeeper of the tournament as her side took home their first silver medals.



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