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Coleman dreams of Cosafa final

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COMPETING for Cosafa Women’s Championship honours would fulfil a lifelong dream for Namibia captain Zenatha Coleman, who aspires to play in Sunday’s title decider.

But there is the not so small matter of a semi-final clash today with hosts South Africa to negotiate at Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakhele, Ibhayi, just outside Gqeberha.

“I’m very happy to be back. It’s very exciting to be part of this team whereby we reached the semi-finals after so many years,” said Coleman, whose discord with the Namibia Football Association briefly threatened to see her miss the competition for a second edition running.

With Coleman puling the strings, Namibia made the last four by virtue of being the best-placed runner-up of the pool stage, following two wins and a defeat.

Coleman, who was named the best player in the 5-1 and 2-0 wins over Eswatini and Lesotho, says the Brave Gladiators are up for today’s challenge against the African champions.

The last time the two sides met at this stage of the competition in 2008, Banyana Banyana triumphed 3-1. But an upset could be on the cards, given that the hosts are not fielding their strongest side in the tournament.

Their A-team lost consecutive friendlies to Brazil on Friday and Monday.

“The girls are very much motivated and they are looking forward to this encounter against South Africa. The mood in the camp is very high,” said Coleman.

She is determined to lead the Gladiators to a first Cosafa final appearance since 2006. But her ambition is guided by a collective effort and not personal glory.

“It means so much. I’ve been waiting for this since I started playing in the Cosafa. I want to pass the semi-final and go to the final,” the Fenerbahçe attacker said.

“As long as the team is winning, I’m happy to just contribute. So, I will score goals as long as we’re winning.”

The Gladiators will look to draw inspiration from two of their compatriots who shone brightest in a South African Premiership clash they attended on Wednesday night.

Brave Warriors skipper Peter Shalulile scored the winning goal for PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns, but goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua was in brilliant form for Chippa United and was deservedly named man of the match.

Meanwhile, defending champions Tanzania will look to see off the challenge from a dangerous Zambian side in the first semi-final of the day.

Tanzania’ Twiga Stars swept into the semis with an emphatic 3-1 victory over Malawi on Wednesday, while Zambia’s Copper Queens topped Group B with a comfortable 2-0 win against Eswatini a day earlier.



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