End of the road for Mares

End of the road: The Zebras fell 4-0 to Zambia PIC: COSAFA
End of the road: The Zebras fell 4-0 to Zambia PIC: COSAFA

The Mares failed to reach the final of the COSAFA Women’s Championship following a 4-0 defeat to Zambia yesterday.

The local girls controversially reached the semi finals on Tuesday after a barren draw with Shepolopolo. The match was tainted by reports of match fixing claims from Malawians.

The pair met at the Wolfson Stadium again just two days after the goalless draw and the Zambians who reached the final with a massive score line.

Shepolopolo were first to have a sight at goal as Mary Mwakapila found Rachel Nachula with lobbed pass but the striker could only shoot wide of the post with the goalkeeper to beat, just nine minutes in to the game.

Nachula redeemed herself just three minutes as she broke through the Mares’ defensive line and slotted past the advancing keeper to take her tally to nine goals in the tournament. Zambia was 2-0 up eight minutes later as Hellen Mubanga beat her marker and buried past the keeper.

Shepolopolo were home and dry in the 36th minute thanks to a goalkeeping error from Bame Mokime as Mwakapila scored to give her side a 3-0 lead in to break.

The home girls looked to stage a comeback in the early stages of the second half, but the Shepolopolo defence thwarted their efforts.

The striking duo of Esalenna Galekhutle and Michelle Abueng were suffocated by the Zambian defence. Shepolopolo dominated the proceedings with the Mares looking short on confidence.

In the 78th minute, Nachula pinned in the last nail on the coffin with a tap in, following a good move by the northern neighbours.

The defeat denied the local girls a chance to reach their maiden final of the competition. However, coach Jacqueline Gaboinelwe showered praises on the team’s efforts.

“This is a very young team and we should be happy about the performance and achievements,” said Gaboinelwe after the match.

“Our goalkeeper was injured but they played.

Like I said this is a very young team. Most of them are under-20 so we should be very proud, Zambia was very tough team today.”

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