Gladiators lose opener against Zim at Cosafa Women’s Championship

13 Sep 2018 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 13 SEP (NAMPA) – Brave Gladiators lost their opening match of the 2018 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Women’s Championship 1-0 at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth Thursday morning.
In a match monitored on Facebook through Kwese Sport online, the Brave Gladiators started off poorly failing to contain Zimbabwe, who were clearly looking for an early goal.
The Namibians conceded the only goal of the match in the 17th minute when the defenders failed to deal with a harmless ball in the box.
An attempted clearance by Iina Ndapewa Katuta deflected on Marjory Nyaumwe and rolled into the empty net.
After the goal, the Namibians seemed settled as they started to trouble the Mighty Warriors of Zimbabwe with their slick passing game, resulting in Elmarie Fredericks’s goal-bound shot being blocked by the defence.
In the 36th minute, Namibia were denied a clear penalty by the match official who had a poor game after Twelikondjela Amukoto was brought down in the box by Zimbabwe’s goalkeeper, who escaped without caution.
The resultant free kick was blasted over the bar.
Rutendo Makore had a chance to add to her team’s tally on the stroke of half-time but headed over the bar after goalkeeper Mellissa Matheus came out late for a cross.
The second half saw an improved performance by the Namibians as they put Zimbabwe under pressure seeking an equaliser.
First Memory Ngonda shot over the bar with a speculative shot, before Anna-Marie Shikusho missed two opportunities to at least draw level.
Makore then missed a last minute sitter after coming face to face with Matheus.
The match ended 1-0 to Zimbabwe and their coach Siphelisile Sibanda was a relieved woman, saying Namibia made it difficult for her team.
“It was a tough match, but we got a good result. Namibia played well but I am happy my players showed character to win this match,” she said.
Brave Gladiators head coach Brian Isaacs bemoaned the soft goal conceded by his team, saying they started the game nervously.
“We were more confident in the second half as we tried to get the equaliser, but Zimbabwe made it difficult. We must avoid making silly mistakes at the back,” he added.
Namibian captain Emma Naris was named woman of the match.
The Gladiators next play Uganda at the same venue on Saturday.