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Heartbreak for Banyana as they lose to Zambia in COSAFA Cup final

A youthful Banyana Banyana side fell at the final hurdle as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Zambia in the final of the 2022 COSAFA Women’s Championship at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Gqeberha on Sunday afternoon.

The two COSAFA powerhouses could not be separated after 90 minutes, with several chances at either end.

It was Zambia who showed nerves of steel to prevail as striker Barbra Banda scored the winner in extra-time to break the heart of the South African fans, who packed the stadium in Gqeberha.


Banda’s sole strike ensured Zambia clinch the COSAFA title for the first time in their history to add to the country’s phenomenal recent success.

2020 COSAFA Women’s Cup Champions, Zambia. Picture @Zambia.

The accomplishments include winning a bronze medal at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Morocco and booking a spot for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time.

Simphiwe Dludlu, who was in charge of the inexperienced Banyana side at the COSAFA Cup did concede prior to the finale that Zambia are the favourites as the Cooper Queens “because 80 per cent of the team went to WAFCON”.

Zambia’s victory also served as revenge as they lost to eventual African champions Banyana in the semifinal of the 2022 WAFCON.  

However, South Africa were without all their WAFCON winners and regular stars and coach coach Desiree Ellis as they had other commitments, which saw them play two international friendlies against Brazil.

Zambia striker Banda walked away with the Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot awards after her impressive showing, scoring 10 goals.

Copper Queens skipper Barbara Banda with her Player of the Tournament prize and the Golden Boot Award. Picture @Zambia.

The Best Goalkeeper – Golden Glove accolade went to Cooper Queens’ Catherine Musonda, with Tanzania claiming the Fair Play award.

Tanzania, who won the COSAFA title last year finished in third place after beating Namibia 2-1 in the third-place play-off.

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