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Rayners & Mogaila Fire Bafana To Top Of Group A

Iqraam Rayners and Shaune Mogaila’s goals saw Bafana B side come from behind to beat Botswana 2-1 in the second group stage match in the COSAFA Cup at King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday.

The makeshift Bafana side had to come from behind after Thatayaone Kgamanyane received a lofted ball and beat Jethren Barr with power and the pace.

That lead did not last long though for Botswana as Rayners equalised from the penalty spot after Victor Letsoalo was brought down inside the box.

Then Botswana lost their way and Mogaila was left alone to score the second two minutes later, as the game swung into Bafana B’s favour.   

Coach Morena Ramorebodi made five changes as Sibongiseni Mthethwa, Tshegofatso Mabasa, Rayners, Bonginkosi Makume and Rowan Human, who scored the equaliser to salvage a draw against Namibia in the Group A opener, started the game.     

These players replaced Lesedi Kapinga, Keegan Allan, Tebogo Tlolane, Shadrack Kobedi and Victor Letsoalo.

These changes injected life as the Bafana B side started the better of the two and Rayners broke away, gliding past a few players before curling an in-swinger, but Botswana’s goalie Lesenya Malapela diverted the danger for the corner after 25 minutes.

The South Africans continued to attack in the first half but could not find the breakthrough to trouble the Zebras.

Then Mabasa, who is on his way to join Swallows on loan from Orlando Pirates, inexplicably fired wide after Malapela parried the ball to his path, leaving the fans and his teammates in shock.

The Bafana makeshift squad upped the ante and again Malapela had to tip the Rayners’ looping ball to clear the danger.

Again Rayners ballooned another chance wide when he should have picked up the spot as Bafana continued to stress Botswana’s defence.

However, Botswana scored first, with Kgamanyane rifling home in the 63rd minute.  But that lead did not last long as Botswana lost their heads.

Tebogo Kopelang clumsily brought Letsoalo down, who was clean through on goal and Rayners equaliser three minutes later from the spot kick.  

That stung Mzansi into life as a deflected ball fell into the path of Mogaila and the Royal AM wingback blasted at the far corner two minutes to see South Africa take a lead for the first time in the game.

Kapinga should have scored a third a moments later but his shot went straight at Malapela and so was Rayners, as the game opened up. 

The win sees Bafana makeshift squad now on top with four points after drawing Namibia in the first game, while Botswana is on three after beating Eswatini. Bafana will conclude the game against Eswatini while Botswana will face Namibia, with these games set to be played simultaneously.   

Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala
Robin-Duke Madlala is iDiski Times' KwaZulu-Natal-based web journalist. Boasting extensive experience in the South African football landscape, Robin-Duke has previously worked for Kick-Off Magazine, Soccer Laduma, and Daily Sun and Sunday Sun. He specialises in breaking news and transfers around South Africa’s big clubs in KZN.