Twiga Stars reach Cosafa final

Friday October 08 2021
TWIGA PIC

Twiga Stars midfielder Stumai Abdallah (left) vies for the ball against a Zambian player during the Cosafa Women’s Championship encounter held at Mandela Bay Stadium yesterday in South Africa. Twiga Stars won 3-2 on penalties. Photo| Courtesy

By Mustafa Mtupa

Dar es Salaam. The national women’s football team (Twiga Stars)’s goalkeeper, Zubeda Mgunda, yesterday emerged the heroine of the team after she saved three penalty shots by Zambia to qualify for the final against Malawi.

Malawi recorded a 3-2 victory yesterday against the hosts, South Africa. Zubeda replaced Janeth Simba before the end of the regulation time in a thrilling game held at the Wolford Stadium to seal the chance. The teams drew 1-1 in the regulation time.

The goalkeeper saved the penalty shots from Margaret Belemu, Lubanji Ochumba and Lushombo Mweemba. Zambia scored through Elizabeth Mupeso. Earlier, Mweemba scored her own goal in the 17th minute to make Twiga Stars lead 1-0 before Grace Chandu equalised in the 70th minute following mistakes made by the team’s custodian, Simba. Twiga Stars scored their penalties through Enekia Kasonga, Oppa Clement and Fatuma Issa. The team’s captain, Amina Bilal, missed her penalty after hitting the goal post. Twiga Stars head coach Bakari Shime commended his players for the fighting spirit to win the duel against a tough team, Zambia, who competed in this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.

Shime said the match was very tough and that his players missed many clear scoring chances.

“We were not supposed to go into penalty shoutouts because we managed to dominate the game from the start.

My strikers missed many scoring chances, despite the goalkeeping blunder,” said Shime.

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He said their focus is now on the final match against Malawi, who are a very strong team. “Our mission and vision is to win the trophy. My players are in high morale and ready to complete the task,” he said.

The match saw Twiga Stars captain Amina Bilal named the match’s best player.

Amina joins Mwanahamis Sharua and Fatuma Issa Maonyo, who also won the award.