South Africa sealed their place in the semifinals of the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship on Monday, but there was no such joy for Zimbabwe and they were edged to top spot in Group C by East African guest nation Uganda.
Zimbabwe will face an anxious wait to see if they will qualify for the semifinals as best-placed runner-up, though they would need an unlikely set of results to go their way.
South Africa were dominant in their 6-0 victory over Malawi, with coach Desiree Ellis playing the Houston Dash trio of Janine van Wyk, Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana.
For Van Wyk is was a 150thinternational appearance, extending her record as the most capped player from Africa of all time.
The hosts took the lead on 11 minutes when Kgatlana teed-up Motlhalo on the edge of the box and the latter fired home with a pinpoint shot.
Khanya Xesi moved to joint top of the scorers charts in the tournament with a brace, the first taking advantage of a mix-up at the back for Malawi, and the second an easy tap-in after she was set-up by Kgaelebane Mohlakoana.
Mohlakoana had grabbed a goal of her own just after halftime with a shot after Malawi had failed to clear a cross.
Motlhalo capped a superb individual display with two late goals, the first again set up by the pacey Kgatlana, as she joined Xesi and Cameroon’s Mpeh Bissong at the top of the scorers charts.
Botswana played to a 0-0 draw with Madagascar in their final Group A game which saw them claim four points and go out of contention for a semifinal place.
Uganda sealed a surprise 2-1 win over last year’s beaten finalists Zimbabwe, with the latter missing numerous chances and being denied by the brilliance of opposing goalkeeper Ruth Atoru.
Uganda took the lead in the second period as Juliet Nalukenge was allowed too much space in the box and she was able to turn and bundle the ball home.
The Ugandans doubled that advantage when Zimbabwe goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai failed to collect a cross and captain Tracey Akiror headed home a second.
Makore grabbed a lifeline for Zimbabwe when she bundled home a late goal at the back post following Mavis Chirandu’s corner, but it proved too little, too late.
Zimbabwe have six points from their three matches with a +3 goal-difference, and they will hope that Central African guest nation Cameroon don’t defeat Lesotho in their final match on Tuesday as they already are on +6 after their thumping 8-1 success over Mozambique earlier in the competition.
In the other match in the pool, Namibia thumped Eswatini 4-1 to finish in third. Lina Katuta grabbed a brace, while there were also goals for Kylie van Wyk and Lovisa Mulunga.
Celiwe Nkambule grabbed a consolation for Eswatini, her second of the tournament, but they leave the competition with three defeats.
Group B will be completed on Tuesday with Zambia favourites to advance to the semifinals as they prepare to meet Mozambique at the Wolfson Stadium (15h00 local; 13h00 GMT).
A draw will be enough for the Zambians, while defeat would open the way for a three-way mini-league on the head-to-head if Cameroon also beat Lesotho at the Westbourne Oval in a match that will be played at the same time.
That would mean that only the result of matches between the three sides count and with all of them on three points, it would come down to goal-difference.
The winner of the pool will ply the best-placed runner-up from the three groups, which could mean another clash between Zambia and Cameroon if they both win their matches.
Entrance to both match venues is FREE to the public.
At Wolfson Stadium
Zimbabwe 1 (Rutendo Makore )Uganda 2 (Juliet Nalukenge, Tracey Akiror)
South Africa 6 (Linda Motlhalo 3, Khanya Xesi 2, Kgaelebane Mohlakoana) Malawi 0
At Westbourne Oval
Eswatini 1 (Celiwe Nkambule) Namibia 4 (Kylie van Wyk, Lina Katuta 2, Lovisa Mulunga)
Botswana 0 Madagascar 0
At Wolfson Stadium
15h00 (13h00 GMT) –Zambia vs Mozambique
At Westbourne Oval
15h00 (13h00 GMT) –Cameroon vs Lesotho
GROUP A P W D L GF GA PTS
South Africa 3 3 0 0 9 1 9
Botswana 3 1 1 1 2 1 4
Malawi 3 1 0 2 2 8 3
Madagascar 3 0 1 2 1 4 1
GROUP B P W D L GF GA PTS
Zambia 2 2 0 0 3 0 6
Cameroon 2 1 0 1 8 2 3
Mozambique 2 1 0 1 3 9 3
Lesotho 2 0 0 2 1 4 0
GROUP C P W D L GF GA PTS
Uganda 3 2 1 0 6 4 7
Zimbabwe 3 2 0 1 5 2 6
Namibia 3 1 1 1 4 2 4
Eswatini 3 0 0 3 4 11 0
Matches Played: 16
Goals scored: 48
Biggest victory: Cameroon 8 Mozambique 1 (Group B, September 13)
Most goals in a game:9 – Cameroon 8 Mozambique 1 (Group B, September 13)
3 goals – Mpeh Bissong (Cameroon), Linda Motlhalo (South Africa), Khanya Xesi (South Africa)
2 – Cidalia Cuta (Mozambique), Lina Katuta (Namibia), Raissa Mbappe (Cameroon), Hasifah Nassuna (Uganda), Celiwe Nkambule (Eswatini), Marjory Nyaumwe (Zimbabwe)
1 –Tracey Akiror (Uganda), Barbra Banda (Zambia),Zainab Kapanda (Malawi), Linda Kasenda (Malawi), Lesego Keleboge (Botswana), Rutendo Makore (Zimbabwe), Litseoana Maloro (Lesotho), Charlene Meyong (Cameroon), Tenanile Mgcamphalala (Eswatini), Lucia Moçambique (Mozambique), Kgaelebane Mohlakoana (South Africa), Lovisa Mulunga (Namibia), Felistas Muzongondi (Zimbabwe), Lushomo Mweemba (Zambia), Juliet Nalukenge (Uganda), Resty Nanziri (Uganda), Abena Ninon (Cameroon), Agnes Nkada (Cameroon), Alupo Norah (Uganda), Susan Nyama (Zimbabwe), Lesego Radiakanyo (Botswana), Sarah Rasoanandrasana (Madagascar), Jermaine Seoposenwe (South Africa), Cebile Shongwe (Eswatini), Kylie van Wyk (Namibia), Nothando Vilakazi (South Africa),Misozi Zulu (Zambia).