South Africa….(2)2 ( Melinda Kgadiete 2′, Noxolo Cesane 37′)
Malawi.…………(0)1 (Wezzie Mvula 89′)
Banyana Banyana started their COSAFA Cup title defence on a positive note by beating Malawi 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Fresh from winning the inaugural Aisha Buhari Invitational tournament last week, a new look and youthful Banyana Banyana were not their vintage self but as has become the norm, found a new gear to chalk another good win.
Banyana Banyana took an early lead after Malawian goalkeeper Samir Amidu came out her goalline, leaving the post wide open and Melinda Kgadiete made no mistake as she slotted in the empty net to give the home team the deserved lead.
Malawi did not sit back and fashioned their own attacks but the Banyana Banyana defence, well marshalled by veteran Janine van Wyk stood solid.
Noxolo Cesane’s deflected shot extended the lead for Banyana Banyana as they threatened another rout.
Coach Desiree Ellis’s charges went to half time with a two-goal lead but the scoreline could have been bigger.
In the second half, South Africa started where they left off in the first half creating lots of chances but the killer third goal proved elusive.
Malawi were not backing down and late in the game, Wezzie Mvula pulled one back for the visitors, a goal which ultimately proved just a consolation goal.
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis believes her team was in control for most of the game and could have managed the entire game better especially towards the end of the match.
“We were in control most of the time. But when we tried to change too much, we lost control. Towards the end I feel like we did not manage it well as we usually do,” said Ellis.
“We conceded poorly and we are a team that prides themselves with clean sheets. But that is part of the game,” added Ellis.
“But starting off with a victory is the most important thing,’’ she concluded.