Rufaro Machingura got Zimbabwe’s fans off their feet, after scoring her eighth COSAFA cup goal which took away the all time winners’ dream of winning the cup.
South Africa had been unbeaten in all the COSAFA Women’s Championships played until this final.
The match ended 1-0 in favour of Zimbabwe.
The battle was fought at Rufaro Stadium, Harare in front of a cheerful crowd of 15 000 soccer fans. The warriors stood their ground against South Africa, the COSAFA Women’s Championship’s defending champions who had found their way to the finals unbeaten.
Vice-President Joyce Mujuru was among the crowd watching the spectacular match, as South Africa initially found their way into the home team’s goal mouth more times than the latter.
Six minutes from kick-off saw Danai Bhobho blocking a ball sailing into the goal after South African captain Amanda Dlamini headed a corner kick. The defending champions continued seeking the goal even after the second half.
The former Africa Women Footballer of the year Noko Matlou miraculously found her way to send a close range shot on goal 60 minutes into the game. This was denied getting behind the goal line by the Warriors captain and goal keeper, Onai Chingawo.
However, the warriors utilised well the opportunity that came their way 6 minutes before the final whistle. It was Rufaro’s goal bound header that scudded in leaving Banyana’s goalkeeper, Thokozile Mandeni helpless.
The final whistle sealed the Warrior’s victory, forbidding repetition of the 2002 final of the same competition of losing on home ground. They made their nation proud especially their Coach Rosemary Mugadza who praised the team for playing great football. Even South Africa’s own coach, Mkhonza acknowledged Zimbabwe has improved a lot and said, “… on the day we just could not score”.
Tanzania took the Bronze medal after beating Malawi 3-0.