Friday 23 April 2021
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Gladiators ready to make history

Brave Gladiators kick started their 2017 Council of Southern African Football Association (COSAFA) Women Championship opener on Wednesday morning with a thriller when they send a stench message to their group opponents by demolishing Botswana 4-0.
The Brave Gladiators have always been tough competitors in the past thus the same will be expected today when they face group favourites South Africa.  Gladiators’ captain Mammie Kasaona said her girls are ready to make history.
“We are not afraid of South Africa. They are a big team but it is football at the end of the day. Big teams have been beaten before. We are not here to participate but to compete. Every year teams are making history so we are ready to get this one,” said an optimistic Kasaona.
With a triumphant group stage start, all eyes will be on the Gladiator’s international playmaker Zenatha Coleman and Victoria Shangula who raised to the occasion in the opening game netting a double for the Namibian team.
Going into the game, both teams started off with a calm attitude but it did not take long before the Namibian team pronounced their winning intentions.
Namibia took the lead 20 minutes into the first half with Shangula netting via a Coleman deflection comfortably. Soon after Shangula scored, the game translated that the Gladiators were not done. Botswana struggled to penetrate through the Namibian solid defence and commands from Kasaona behind. Smooth footwork upfront orchestrated by Zenatha made it even difficult for the opponents to brush off the pressure as almost every ball set from the corner registered as a shot on target. Namibia was awarded a penalty in the first half after a Botswana defender obstructed Coleman in the penalty box. Coleman  subsequently sent the goal keeper the wrong way with ease, registering the second goal for Namibia.
Shangula, who had eyes for every loose ball in the opponents’ box scored the third goal at the stroke of half time.
In the second half, Botswana increased the tempo, desparate to get on the score sheet but fell for the offside traps. A rather exhausted Coleman was substituted by Esther Amukwaya. Now playing with ease and allowing Botswana to do the ball chasing, Namibia displayed their natural skills, despite not playing competitive football or featuring in any international games for over a year. An exhausted Botswana side did not bring much to the table and the Gladiators got their fourth goal when Anna Shikusho scored late in the secod half.
“We had a good game and our  performance was good. We tried to play a wing play but overall I am happy with the performance and now we look forward for our next game.” Player of the Match Coleman said.
She added; “The team is ready. We want to get victory over South Africa. It has been a long time since we got a win against them so I think this is a chance for us to get a win. We will strive come Friday [today].”
Zambia took on Malawi the same day getting a 6-3 win while Zimbabwe beat Madagascar 4-0 later. Gladiators will now play South Africa today at 14h00 and finish off against Lesotho on Sunday. The COSAFA Women’s Championship returns six years after Zimbabwe (the champions) last played host to the tournament.

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