Baby Gladiators wins Cosafa opener

The Baby Gladiators on Thursday came from a goal behind to defeat Mozambique 2-1 in their opening match of the 2019 Cosafa championship currently underway in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Namibia went behind after captain Julia Rutjindo and goalkeeper Meagan Schuster were caught napping, allowing Mozambiquan Dulce Lopes to poke in a loose ball in the 24th minute for the opening goal of the match and they were trailing at halftime.

Substitute Indira Jacobs equalised in the 52nd minute, following a scramble in the 12-yard box when the Mozambique defence failed to clear the ball.

The Baby Gladiators took the lead on 60 minutes through the impressive Veronica April who slammed the ball in following a poor clearance of a free kick Mozambique.

Coach Mervin Mbakera was satisfied but the win but says they could have done better.

“We played good football. Unfortunately, we made a mistake and conceded a goal. We spoke to the girls at halftime and they managed to play well,” he said.

Sharon Katamila won the Women of the match award.

The Baby Gladiators next plays South Africa on Saturday in a Group A match, where they will aim to collect maximum points and progress to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile the Brave Gladiators lost 1-0 to Botswana I thier opening game on Thursday night. They will now play Group B log leaders Zambia on Saturday.

Zambia crushed Madagascar 15-0 in an earlier match to take top spot, and are now followed by Botswana who also have three points, but an inferior goal difference.