The COSAFA Cup 2021 concluded in South Africa in October. The Zambian women’s national football team won bronze medals in the tournament for the 4th time in history, and no other team has won the COSAFA Cup bronze more than once.
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In the match for third place, the Zambian players faced the host team from South Africa in the tournament. Lubanji Ochumba opened the score in the 20th minute, but the South African team equalized in the 76th minute. The opponents failed to score in the remainder of the game, with the Zambian side coming out on penalties with a score of 4-3.
Tanzania won the tournament for the first time after beating Malawi in the final, thanks to a 64th minute goal by Kasongo.
The tournament was attended by 12 teams, divided into three groups. The top three teams in their respective groups and one top team in the second place qualified for the playoff rounds.
Bruce Mwape’s team finished first in Group C on their way to the playoffs, winning all three games and not conceding a single goal. The Zambians thrashed their rivals from Eswatini 5-0 in the first round, and again in the second round, the Namibian squad was defeated with no problems. The only team to put up resistance in the group stage was Uganda, which finished second. One goal from Grace Chanda, scored in the 38th minute, was enough to clinch the win.
In the semi-finals, the Zambian national team went straight on to face the Tanzanian national team, who finished first in Group C. The Tanzanian women also won all their matches in the group with a goal difference of 8-0.
The Tanzanian national team started the semi-final match confidently: in the first half, the team players attacked more often, and in the 17th minute, the Tanzanian midfielder went down the left flank and shot into the center of the penalty area before Lusomo Mwemba, trying in a fall to intercept the ball, unsuccessfully cut the ball into her own goal.
Mwape’s side had little success in that match, but Grace Chanda came to the rescue once again: in the 69th minute, the midfielder spotted Tanzania’s goalkeeper losing the ball and sent the ball into the goal from around 40 meters out. The game went into a penalty shootout where the Tanzanian players failed to score three times from the spot and lost by 2-3.
Lubanji Ochumba was the team’s top scorer at the tournament with four goals. Apart from the goal scored in the third-place match, the 19-year-old midfielder scored a hat-trick against Eswatini.
The Zambian team also distinguished themselves at the tournament in the Fair Play category as the team that received the fewest yellow and red cards.