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Six of the best as football girls grab Games gold for SA
- Updated: December 12, 2014
By Mark Etheridge
in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
South Africa’s football women hit Namibia for six in their final match of the African Region 5 Games here on Friday to grab another gold for Team South Africa.
Coach Sheryl Botes’ charges went through the tournament unbeaten in their three matches and Friday’s match was pretty much a formality.
But the girls showed great professionalism to keep pushing to the final whistle and emerged 6-1 victors.
South Africa led 4-1 at the break courtesy of a Linda Sepotokele hat-trick, the team’s second hat-trick of the Games after Mosili Makhoali had also achieved one in the second game against hosts Zimbabwe after last Sunday’s opening ceremony. Makhoali netted the first of her two goals just before and after half-time.
The first two goals came from open play and her hat-trick sealing goal came from the penalty spot after she was fouled as she cut into the area from the right hand flank.
Botswana’s goal came courtesy of an own goal after the initial Namibian shot was cleared off the line but canoned off a SA defender and over the line. It was only the second goal that South Africa conceded in all three of their games.
They beat Botswana 3-1, Zimbabwe 5-0 and now Namibia 6-1.
Certainly, the goal of the match came in the 82nd minute with substitute Bongoka Gamede scoring with her first touch.
She replaced Drishana Pillay and as she collected the ball barely metres inside the Namibian half, spotted the keeper off her line and hoofed a shot goalwards. The Namibian No1 failed to gather cleanly and the ball bobbled over the line for a spectacular score.
Said an ecstatic coach Botes: ‘Our plan was to push Namibia very high from the start. We’ve played them before so we knew they were very physical but I’m so proud of these girls and what they’ve achieved here.
‘Mosili and Linda are really worthy of mention for what they have achieved here today. They will go far. We brought our “babies” here, Most of the girls are 16 or 17 years old and we even have a 15-year-old. The other teams girls were generally 18 or 19 years old.’
Makhoali ended up as top scorer of the Games, netting seven times, exactly half of the SA goals.
Flying high the girls may have been but there was barely time to celebrate as they dashed off to the airport for their flight back to South Africa.