Gladiators fall to Botswana

The Senior Women's National Team, the Brave Gladiators lost by 1-0 to Botswana in their opening Group B match of the 2019 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Women's Championships in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on Thursday.

The Gladiators who started off well, fell behind t a Michelle Abueng goal in 44th minute after the Namibian defence was caught napping by a defence splitting pass from Botswana captain EsalennaGalekhtle.

Abueng took one touch on the ball before sliding it past Melisa Matheus in goals for Namibia.

Prior to that Namibia had carved out a few chances of their own which they failed to convert.

Zenatha Coleman sent a lovely free kick in the fifth minute, and the resultant header by Millicent Hikuam flashed wide.

A corner by IvoneKooper also went wide while Coleman was denied what looked like a penalty in the 35th minute to leave the scoreline 1-0 at halftime.

Second half saw Namibia increase their tempo in a bid to pull a goal back, but the Batswana defence stood resolute, as more chances went begging, with Coleman shooting tamely at BameMokime, in goals for Botswana.

Substitute Beverly Uueziua missed an open goal following great work by Coleman at the wing.

Another replacement player, AnousckaKordom also saw her header from a corner kick flash wide as Namibia piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.

Botswana held on to their lead, which was described by Namibian coach UerikondjeraKasaona as a 'lucky win'.

It is a sad ending of the match for my players as we lacked the finishing touch. Luck was with the opponent as we were supposed to finish the match in the first 15 minutes of the match, she said.

Namibia will now play group B log leaders Zambia on Saturday at the same venue.

Zambia crushed Madagascar 15-0 in an earlier match to take top spot, and are now followed by Botswana who also have three points, but inferior goal difference.

The 2019 Senior CosafaWomens Championships is held concurrently with the under tournament, which saw Namibia under 20 beat Mozambique 2-1 earlier on the day.

Source: Namibia Press Agency