Tracy Akiror scored a penalty as Uganda sealed the bronze medal at the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over luckless Zambia at the Wolfson Stadium in Nelson Mandela Bay on Friday.
Zambia missed a number of chances in the game to finish fourth, one place lower than they managed in Zimbabwe 12 months ago.
For Uganda it is a successful end to the competition and the best performance yet from a guest nation since the tournament was first played in 2002, one better than Kenya’s fourth-place finish last year.
After a tame start from both sides Zambian skipper Barbara Banda had the first real shot on goal, before Mary Mwakapila fired wide from a better opportunity.
Uganda were handed a penalty when Martha Temboconceded a foul in the box and Akiror made no mistake from the spot.
Uganda held their lead at the break and frustrated the Zambians, forcing them into long-range shots at goal, with Joanna Benai firing over from distance.
Mwakapila spurned another opportunity before Rachael Kundananji saw her effort saved by Ugandan goalkeeper Ruth Atoru.
Rachael Kundananji then had two chances in quick success for Zambia, as first she saw her shot saved and then planted a header wide.
Uganda were able to hold on for the win and claim the bronze medal, fine reward for a good tournament for the East Africans.
Hosts South Africa will meet Cameroon in Saturday’s eagerly-awaited final at the Wolfson Stadium when this year’s trophy will be handed over.
Banyana Banyana are the defending champions after beating Zimbabwe in last year’s final and the scalp of fellow African Women’s Championship qualifiers Cameroon would be a major boost in confidence for coach Desiree Ellis’ side.
The pair have been the best side in the competition, with South Africa’s neat interplay and pace up against the power and technical ability of the Central African guest nation.
Banyana star Linda Motlhalo will seek to add to her four goals and she looks to secure the Golden Boot having enhanced her reputation as a rising Star of South African football.
Banyana have won all four of their matches in the tournament, conceding just a single goal, while Cameroon did suffer a loss in the pool stages to Zambia but gained revenge with victory in the semifinals.
The match will be played at the Wolfson Stadium with a 12h00 kick-off and entrance to the public is FREE.
At Wolfson Stadium
Zambia 0 Uganda 1 (Tracy Akiror)
At Wolfson Stadium
12h00 local, 10h00 GMT–South Africa vs Cameroon
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
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 3 3 0 0 6 0 9
Cameroon 3 2 0 1 14 2 6
Mozambique 3 1 0 2 3 12 3
Lesotho 3 0 0 3 1 10 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
Eswatini 3 0 0 3 4 11 0
Matches Played: 21
Goals scored: 61
Biggest victory: Cameroon 8 Mozambique 1 (Group B, September 13)
Most goals in a game: 9 – Cameroon 8 Mozambique 1 (Group B, September 13)
4 goals – Linda Motlhalo (South Africa)
3 – Mpeh Bissong (Cameroon), Khanya Xesi (South Africa)
2 – Tracey Akiror (Uganda), Barbra Banda (Zambia),Cidalia Cuta (Mozambique), Lina Katuta (Namibia), Edith Ngo Mbeleck (Cameroon), Madeleine Ngono Mani (Cameroon), Raissa Mbappe (Cameroon), Hasifah Nassuna (Uganda), Celiwe Nkambule (Eswatini), Marjory Nyaumwe (Zimbabwe), Jermaine Seoposenwe (South Africa)
1 – Eliane Bodolo (Cameroon), Zainab Kapanda (Malawi), Linda Kasenda (Malawi), Lesego Keleboge (Botswana), Rutendo Makore (Zimbabwe), Litseoana Maloro (Lesotho), Catherine Mbengono (Cameroon), Charlene Meyong (Cameroon), Tenanile Mgcamphalala (Eswatini), Lucia Moçambique (Mozambique), Kgaelebane Mohlakoana (South Africa), Lovisa Mulunga (Namibia), Felistas Muzongondi (Zimbabwe), Mary Mwakapila (Zambia), Lushomo Mweemba (Zambia), Juliet Nalukenge (Uganda), Rachel Nachula (Zambia), Resty Nanziri (Uganda), Abena Ninon (Cameroon), Agnes Nkada (Cameroon), Alupo Norah (Uganda), Susan Nyama (Zimbabwe), Lesego Radiakanyo (Botswana), Sarah Rasoanandrasana (Madagascar), Cebile Shongwe (Eswatini), Kylie van Wyk (Namibia), Nothando Vilakazi (South Africa),Claudy Ychadeu (Cameroon), Misozi Zulu (Zambia).