South Africa’s national women’s soccer team, Banyana Banyana,  face a formidable Zimbabwe side in the semi-finals of the COSAFA Cup in Lusaka this afternoon (kick-off at 3pm).

Banyana Banyana have had an easy passage to the last four, thrashing Lesotho 9-nil on Tuesday and beating Malawi 3-nil to advance.

Former Banyana Banyana captain, Desiree Ellis, says Zimbabwe will be tougher to beat.

“They’ve always been tough opposition. You’ll also remember that they beat us in the recent African Cup of Nations, so we have a score to settle.”

Like many people, Ellis has voiced concern about the quality of opposition Banyana Banyana have had played against recently.

“The problem is that we’re playing too many Southern African countries, which are weak. We beat them 12-nil and then we think we’re the best. When we come up against teams like Nigeria, we are shown up really badly.”

But Ellis also feels that this COSAFA Cup in Lusaka could help the team gel better ahead of the African Women’s Championships in Nigeria in October.

“They don’t get to play together often enough, so competitions like the COSAFA Cup help build team spirit.

“My major concern is that the team doesn’t seem to be playing with passion. They just seem to be going through the motions. I can’t put my finger on what the problem is.”

Zambia play Namibia in the first semi-final at 1pm.

This year’s COSAFA Cup which got underway on Monday in Lusaka featured eight teams – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Namibia, and Lesotho.

gsport will bring you regular updates throughout the afternoon.