THE national U-20 women football team, Tanzanite Head Coach Bakari Shime said the different tactical approach he used against Zambia enabled his side to win the COSAFA Women title in South Africa.
Tanzanite were crowned Women title for Under-20 players after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Zambia in the tense final held on Sunday at Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Zambia had triumphed by the same margin in their group stage, but it was a reversed results as the East Africans this time came out on top.
At a post-match briefing, Shime showered his praise on the skillful players saying they expertly applied what he told them during training sessions onto the battle field.
“I am totally impressed with the overall performance from my team. They all fought hard from the first match to the final and through them, we are all champions,” he said.
He added that his entire technical bench took time to find the strength and weakness of their opponents (Zambia) before facing them in the finals.
In his remarks, Zambia U-20 Women Coach Charles Haalubono hailed his players saying they displayed good football despite going down at the end of the match.
“Most of my players are new such that we are still in the building process of the team and I hope that next time, we will be able to bring the trophy back home,” he said.
After a cagey beginning, Tanzania took the lead when Opa Sanga swept home a cross from the left wing, her third goal of the tournament. Tanzania had a few opportunities to add to that lead but were pegged back 10 minutes into the second period when Loveness Malunga netted a wonderful equaliser. She picked up the ball on the edge of the box and rifled home a shot to bring the score level. It looked as though the game would be headed for penalties before Protasia Mbunda scored a stunning winner with five minutes remaining. The ball was cleared to her 30 yards from goal and she crashed a shot into the net from that distance, beating Zambia goalkeeper Anna Mukumbuta with her pace and power. That sparked wild scenes of celebration and Tanzania were able to hold on for the win to lift the trophy. Maylan Mulenga from Zambia won the Golden Boot award with five goals, while her compatriot Cynthia Shonga was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament. The player of the tournament prize went to Enekia Kasonga of Tanzania, who was a star throughout the contest and she, on several occasions, helped a lot her team to shine hence deserved the accolade. The next Cosafa events will be staged next month as the Women’s Under-17 Championship is played in Mauritius from 13-22 September. That will be followed shortly afterwards by the Boys Under-17 Championship