Motlhalo hat trick sinks Malawi in Banyana’s final Cosafa group game

Banyana went into the match on the back of two impressive wins in their first two matches of the group and have now clinched Group A with maximum points.

Banyana Banyana's Linda Motlhalo. Picture: @MaserameLinda/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Linda Motlhalo netted a hat trick as Banyana Banyana demolished Malawi in their final Cosafa Women's Championship Group A match at the Wolfson Stadium KwaZakhele in Port Elizabeth on Monday afternoon.

Banyana went into the match on the back of two impressive wins against Madagascar and Botswana in their first two matches of the group and have now clinched Group A with maximum points.

The Malawi match was also a momentous occasion for captain Janine van Wyk who earned cap number 150, the first women footballer to reach this on the continent.

Motlhalo started the rot as early as the 15th minute of the game as she put Banyana in front from a well-worked move before Khanya Xesi doubled the lead in the 25th minute, her second goal of the tournament to give Desiree Ellis ladies a 2-0 lead at the halftime break.

It didn’t take Banyana too long to get back into their stride in the second half as Kgaelebane Mohlakwane made it 3-0 shortly after the resumption. Mohlakwane then turned provider as Xesi completed her brace and increased her tally in the tournament to three goals.

Motlhalo then returned to net two quickfire goals to complete her hat trick and hand Banyana a crushing win over Malawi to advance to the knockout stages of the this year’s Cosafa Women’s Championships and to maintain their hopes of defending the title they won last year in Zimbabwe.