South Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(24) 40
Zimbabwe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (10)32
ZIMBABWE lost their first match in the netball championship at the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games at White City Stadium yesterday.
Going into the match, both Zimbabwe and South Africa had been tipped to reach in the final. They will only know by the end of the day today as they both have a match with Namibia.
In the first quarter South Africa led Zimbabwe 8-3 in the first six minutes of the match.
South Africa increased their tally to 11-6 by the end of the second quarter. Simba Mlambo and Ropafadzo Mutsauki made changes to their team. After half time they came back a rejuvenated side with Patricia Mauladi taking over at centre.
This proved effective as at some point the team was trailing by 20 points, but the Zimbabwe side fought hard and reduced the tally to eight.
In the last quarter the match which was very physical seemed to have been taken over by the Zimbabweans, but South Africa held on to their lead.
Mlambo said he was not happy as the match was too physical. “The girls did not handle the pressure well although we could have done better. The match was too physical for my liking and I felt that the umpire ignored some situations where she should have protected our girls. You could say she was biased,” said Mlambo.
South African coach Jenny van Dyk was naturally ecstatic.
“It’s always pleasing to win but as a coach you are never happy because you try to push the players to do better. Compliments to Zimbabwe, they fought and got the points. Tomorrow (today) we are playing Namibia and if it goes well we could meet Zimbabwe in the final,” she said.