The HOLLYWOODBETS COSAFA Womens Championship will be played from October
4-15, when the best of the regions talent will gather in the hope of lifting the prestigious trophy.
The tournament has become a hugely popular fire on the COSAFA calendar, not least for the quality of the football, but also the entertainment value, with some star names lighting up the competition and going on to shine on the global stage.
We look back at the leading scorers from the last five editions and how they fared.
2018 LINDA MOTLHALO (SOUTH AFRICA) 4 GOALS
Midfielder Motlhalo is not necessarily known for her goals, though her excellent technique lends itself to accuracy in the box. But she led the way at the 2018
COSAFA Womens Championship in what was an excellent field with not much to
choose between the leading sides.
She scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Malawi in the first round and got another in
the semifinals as Banyana edged Uganda 2-0. That set up a final meeting with
Cameroon, where South Africa triumphed 2-1.
Motlhalo has played in the United States, China, Sweden and now Scotland, where
she turns out for top-flight side Glasgow City, and was a leading player at the recent
FIFA Womens World Cup.
2019 RACHEAL NACHULA (ZAMBIA) 10 GOALS
Nachula was on fire for Zambia at the 2019 COSAFA Womens Championship, setting
the tone with eight goals in their opening game as they beat Mauritius 15-0. She
grabbed two more in the semifinals against Botswana as Zambia made the final for
the first time, though they eventually lost 1-0 to South Africa.
Nachula was a leading forward for the national team, though she missed the Tokyo
Olympic Games with injury and did not feature in the Womens Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco or the 2023 FIFA Womens World Cup.
The 37-year-old most previously played in Spain with Zaragoza and is a former Olympic sprinter.
2020 SIBULELE HOLWENI (SOUTH AFRICA) 8 GOALS
South Africa claimed the title again at the 2020 COSAFA Womens Championship,
though this time without many of their established stars. But that allowed new
names to emerge and one of those was Holweni, who caught the eye with her
clinical touch in the box.
After scoring in a 5-0 win over Eswatini, she grabbed five goals in a 7-0 victory over
Comoros. She continued that form in the knockout stages with goals against Malawi
and Botswana respectively in the semifinals and final.
2021 SIBULELE HOLWENI (SOUTH AFRICA) 5 GOALS
Holweni repeated her feat of winning the Golden Boot, though this time she
managed five goals, which is still not bad for a player who now regularly turns out at
left-back! She grabbed a brace in a 3-1 win over Mozambique in the pool stages,
before getting another two in the 3-2 semifinal loss to Malawi.
That put South Africa in the bronze-medal match against Zambia and Holweni was
on target again, though Banyana Banyana lost on penalties as she missed the vital
Still only 22, she has a long international career ahead of her and will be a key player
for Banyana again this year having featured at the 2023 FIFA Womens World Cup.
The former Under-17 national team captain currently plays for the University of
Western Cape in the HOLLYWOODBETS Super League in South Africa.
2022 BARBRA BANDA (ZAMBIA) 10 GOALS
The Zambia goalscoring machine helped the Copper Queens to their maiden COSAFA
title by scoring in the final against South Africa in 2022, one of 10 strikes in the
That was double the number of anyone else as Banda dominated defenses and has
become a global star too after two hattricks at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and a
more goals in Zambias 3-1 victory over Costa Rica in the 2023 FIFA Womens World
She scored a brace against Namibia at the 2022 regional finals and followed that up
with five goals in the 7-0 success against Lesotho. Banda added one more in the 2-0
victory over Eswatini.
She netted another in the 2-1 semifinal win over Tanzania before her winner in
extra-time of the final against South Africa, sealing the unique achievement of
having scored in every game of the competition