Zimbabwe overpower Mozambique

Hosts Zimbabwe have kept up their fine recent form at the 2011 COSAFA Women’s Championship with a 3-0 victory over Mozambique at the Gwanzura Stadium in Harare on Tuesday.

The Zimbabweans were already assured of a place in the knockout stages going into their third pool match, but their victory leaves Mozambique out of the competition.

The final day of round-robin action means Thursday’s semifinal line-up is now complete, with Zimbabwe to take on East African guests Tanzania, while defending champions South Africa will meet Malawi in the first game at the Rufaro Stadium.

Nomsa Moyo beat the offside trap to score as she put Zimbabwe into the lead against Mozambique, before Rufaro Machingura added a second midway through the second half.

The home scored a third late on to seal the win and given them plenty of confidence going into the Last 4 fixtures.

Malawi booked their place in the semifinals with a 5-2 victory over Lesotho to leap-frog their opponents into second in Group A at the Rufaro Stadium.

Tabitha Chawinga reacted fastest to Sungeni Msiska’s harmless cross that rebounded back into play off the crossbar to put Malawi ahead, but Lesotho were level thanks to a thunderous drive from Makobo Kepa.

The scoreline remained 1-1 at halftime, but in the second period the game really came to life.

The Malawians took the lead after confusion from the Lesotho defence at the corner, and extended that to 3-1 on the hour-mark as Patricia Sinjani scored after a mistake from Lesotho keeper Reitumetse Mokoatsi.

Sinjani added a fourth to put the game beyond Lesotho, before Boitumelo Rabal reduced the deficit to 4-2. However, any thoughts of a comeback were ended when Maggie Chombo netted with a screamer for Malawi.

South Africa were made to work hard but eventually came out 1-0 winners over Tanzania at the Gwanzura Stadium to top Group B.

Both sides had already qualified for the knockout stages, but were playing for the chance to top the pool and take momentum into the semifinals.

Banyana Banyana striker Zanele Sukazi scored her second goal in as many matches to give coach Joseph Mkhonza’s side the three points and set up a semifinal meeting with Malawi on Thursday.

“Tanzania played a very physical game against us, but perhaps at the end of the day that is just what we needed after a 4-1 win over Zambia and a 4-0 victory against Botswana, as we prepare for Thursday’s semi-finals,” Mkhonza said.

“Our defence has conceded just one goal in three outings at this tournament and that was a mistake from one of our midfielders, not one of our defenders. So our rear-guard is handling the pressure really well and our midfield is settling in well on creating scoring chances for our strikers.”

In the other match in Group B, Zambia defeated Botswana 4-1 to take third place in the pool.

Mupopo Kibange gave the Zambians the lead on 35 minutes with a neat finish, before stabbed home a second for her side just after halftime.

Noria Sosala made it 3-0 with 13 minutes remaining, and the Botswanan misery was compounded when Rebecca Lisaka scored in the dying minutes.

There was still time to get a consolation for Botswana though, as Bonang Otlhagile scored with a fine free-kick in injury-time.

The winners of Thursday’s semifinals will play in the final at the Rufaro Stadium on Saturday, while the losers will play for bronze in the third-place play-off earlier at the same venue.