South Africa’s U17 Women Football team suffered a 2-1 defeat to Uganda in the final of the Under 17 COSAFA Cup played at the Francois Stadium in Port Louis, Mauritius on Sunday.
On their road to the final, Bantwana had defeated Zambia 2-1 while The Crested Cranes humiliated Botswana 12-0. After a goalless first half, Uganda took the lead through Fauzia Najjemba in the 56th minute, only for Bantwana to equalize on the 74th minute through Tiffany Kortjie.
But it would be the tournament’s leading scorer Nalukenge who’d go on to grab her 18th goal of the competition three minutes from time to seal victory for the East Africans. Bantwana coach Simphiwe Dludlu shares her thoughts.
South Africa was bidding to avoid back-to-back COSAFA youth title misses after the U20 Women lost out to Tanzania last month.
Dludlu says though her ladies lost out on clinching their first COSAFA title, the future is a bright one for her youngsters as they return home to rebuild for upcoming tournaments.
Uganda showed immense maturity, defensive discipline and killer instinct upfront throughout the tournament.
Striker Nalukenge claimed the top scorer gong while compatriot Daphine Nyayenga who conceded just a goal claimed the golden glove award. Coach Khalifah Ayub thanked South Africa for giving her side a run for their victory.
Zambia beat Botswana 3-0 to clinch bronze. Bantwana captain Jessica Wade was voted the Player of the Tournament while Botswana won the competition’s Fair Play award. South Africa recorded the tournament’s biggest victory when they defeated Seychelles 28- 0 during the group stage phase. – Report by Tumi Gabonamong
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