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COSAFA Women's U20 Cup

Cosafa U17 Women's Cup: They played their hearts out against Zambia - Bantwana coach Dludlu

4:39 am AEST 28/9/19
South Africa pip Zambia
The South African tactician is pleased with her team's progress to the final and has credited the effort of her players in the semi-final

South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu has praised her side’s spirit in the wake of their qualification to the final of the Cosafa U17 Women's Cup after a triumph over Zambia.

Bantwana defeated the young Shepolopolo 2-1 in the semi-final encounter at St Francois Xavier Stadium in Mauritius on Friday.
Oyisa Marhasi put the South Africans ahead via Jessica Wade's assist in the 16th minute but Esther Banda played through Maweta Chilenga to level matters 11 minutes later.

The cagey encounter between the two sides was finally decided by Wade's 50th-minute well-struck effort from a free-kick.

And the 32-year-old coach admitted facing a stiff challenge against the Zambians while expressing delight in their progress.

“Congratulations to the players on this great effort. They played good football against a tough opponent," Dludlu told Safa Media.

“I am proud of them and could not ask for more today [Friday]. They played their hearts out to the final whistle. We knew that Zambia would come at us, and play the long balls.

"We managed to contain them in crucial areas of the field and managed to also play our football, they also played the type of football that suited them but we managed to get the win.

"This was a great match for development football, and we would once again like to thank Cosafa for implementing this much-needed tournament in our region."

South Africa will shift focus on claiming the maiden title of the inaugural age-grade competition but must avoid losing to another East African opponent when they meet Uganda in Sunday's final.