10 December 2022 – National Under-17 women’s team coach, Delisile Mbatha, is looking forward to facing defending champions Zambia in the final of the COSAFA Under-17 Championship in Malawi on Sunday, 11 December 2022.
Mbatha said her players have performed superbly throughout the tournament and she is happy that they have a chance to claim the reward for the hard work they have put in during the COSAFA Under-17 Championship, the football competition at the Region 5 Games in Lilongwe, Malawi.
“I cannot wait for the final. The Zambians are very physical, but we can also be physical if we want to. With that being said, we always play a fair game and Zambia will give us the challenge we need,” she said.
“It is very good for us as (southern) Africa to have two strong sides in our region that can challenge the likes of Nigeria and the likes of Ghana. We are sick and tired of seeing Ghana and Nigeria dominating the continent. We can also dominate, why not?”
Bantwana have been in blistering form throughout the tournament and after beating hosts Malawi 4-1 in the opening match, they punished Namibia 12-0 in a completely dominant display in their final game in the group stages. Mbatha’s charges confirmed their place in the final after beating Botswana 3-0 in the semifinals. Zambia reached the final after beating Botswana (5-0) and Comoros (10-0) in the group stages, and Malawi 3-1 on penalties in the semifinals.
“They are young kids and they are doing their best. I am very happy for them. It shows there is a lot of talent in South Africa and if we give them opportunities they will grab them with both hands,” continued Mbatha.
“We sat down with the ladies and told them this is not about us, it is about them as players, this is their opportunity, so take it and play. We told them to follow the instructions, add their creativity and just be free. We also told them to always remember that anything is possible in life.”