Gladiators in Cosafa acid test

The senior women's national football team are keen to at least make it into the semi- finals of the Cosafa champs, set for 12 to 22 September.

31 August 2018 | Sports

The Brave Gladiators will face Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Uganda in Group C of the 2018 Council of Southern African Football Association (Cosafa) Women's Championships.

This was revealed during a draw held on Wednesday in South Africa, which is the host country for the annual championships.

The hosts and defending champions are in Group A alongside Malawi, Madagascar and Botswana.

Guest country, Cameroon, who are ranked third in Africa, are in Group B with Lesotho, Mozambique and Zambia.

Cameroon were the runners-up at the 2016 Africa Women's Cup of Nations, while Uganda finished second in the just-concluded CECAFA Women Challenge Cup in Rwanda.

Uganda will be the third east African country to feature in the championship after Tanzania (2011) and Kenya (2017).

The winners of the three groups will qualify for the semi-finals, alongside the best second-placed country after the group stage matches.

Last year Namibia crashed out in the group stages in the tournament held in Zimbabwe. South Africa won the tournament, beating Zimbabwe 2-1 in the final.

Brave Gladiators coach Brian Isaacs said the team started preparing for the competition in July and is doing well in terms of fitness and stamina.

He, however, added the quality of the side has been reduced by the fact that foreign-based players like Zenatha Coleman (Valencia in Spain) and Annoushka Kordom (Corbin Warriors in the United States) will not be part of the Cosafa team, as they have active league matches taking place at the same time.

Former captain Mamie Uerikondjera Kasaona will also not be part of the team, as she has stepped down from national duty.

Emma Naris takes over as captain; second and third in command are Stacy Naris and Lovisa Mulunga, respectively.

LIMBA MUPETAMI

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