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Thursday, December 7, 2023

COSAFA Cup Group B Wrap: Senegal and Namibia in prime position; Zimbabwe and Malawi eliminated from semifinal contention

Group B in the 2021 COSAFA Cup played out their penultimate matchday on Tuesday with Senegal and Namibia emerging as the winners of the day. Senegal boosted their position to second place with a 2-1 comeback victory over Zimbabwe thanks to goals from Abdoul Ndoye and a late winner scored by Mohamed Ba. Zimbabwe struck first when a clumsy challenge from El Hadji Kane chopped down Delic Murimba in the penalty area, leading to Qadr Amini’s penalty kick conversion to open the scoring in the 3rd minute.

However, it was all downhill from there for Zimbabwe as Senegal proceeded to dominate and got an important equalizer just before halftime. A tame free kick from Dominique Mendy was poorly dealt with by Warriors keeper Martin Mapisa and Ndoye was alone on the doorstep, putting the initial rebound off Mapisa before getting it right to score past the keeper who was on the ground. A buildup down the left flank led to the winner late on with Albert Diene crossing low to Ba whose first time shot snuck by Mapisa. The victory moves Senegal to second place with six points while Zimbabwe have completed their campaign, sitting last with only two points from four games.

Malawi and Namibia had to deal with exceptionally windy conditions, drawing 1-1 with each team scoring in the second half. The match was relatively even throughout with Namibia having a slight edge up until after they scored the opening goal in the 53rd minute. Elmo Kambindu scored for the third straight match to put him even at the top of the tournament scoring chart, doing well to take down an early cross from Willy Stephanus before turning and lashing home with his left foot.

Malawi stepped up their efforts knowing anything other than a win would mean elimination for them. In the 74th minute a scramble in the Namibian penalty area led to Micium Mhone doing brilliantly to turn and finish to the far post past keeper Lloyd Kazapua. However, Malawi’s attacking efforts were not enough to give them the all important lead and the Flames are now eliminated with only two points from three games.

Highlights from both games are below.

Senegal 2-1 Zimbabwe

Malawi 1-1 Namibia