In what proves to be a very fruitful season for local women football, the national under-17 side has reached the semi-finals of the on going COSAFA Championship in emphatic fashion.
In a tournament in Mauritius, the home girls set up a mouthwatering semi-final clash against Zambia following a 14-1 win over Seychelles on Wednesday in the final match of the group stages.
The victory is a record for any national team as Tapapiwa Gaebolae’s troops reached the semi-finals of the inaugural competition. Coach, Gaebolae bemoaned fatigue ahead of the Uganda clash on Friday.
“We will try to be as fresh as possible, a day is not enough to move from the group stages to be semi-finals.
So, we will try to get that rest. We will be facing a very aggressive, and athletic opponents who play with a lot of heart. We will have to be tactical, disciplined and we need to work as a team. It is not going to be an easy game,” she said on Wednesday afternoon.
The Young Mares started the competition with a 6-1 win over Madagascar in the first game in Group B. But that result was followed by a 5-1 defeat to neighbours, South Africa, in the second match.
The defeat meant the local girls had to win the final game of the group stages. Five goals apiece from Pearl Sikwane and Bofelo Rantsho, a Lorato Motlogelwa brace and goals from Kaone Mobongwe and Tlhompho Gabana ensured a thumping over the Islanders.
“It was a good game of football. We made a lot of changes to our team. This is development stage, so we wanted to give all the players a chance of an international football. We expected this score line because we sacrificed the fluidity of how we play,” Gaebolae said.
“Some of these players are not at a level where they can play a full game, so this is down to the sacrifices. Looking at this game, both teams were not as fresh. We did not have enough time to rest; we only have a day to rest.”