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Bafana Left Frustrated By Namibia In the COSAFA Cup

South Africa’s makeshift squad in the COSAFA Cup in Durban started the competition with a 1-1 draw against Namibia in a Group A match at King Zwelithini Stadium in uMlazi on Wednesday.

Maritzburg United’s wanted man Rowan Human cancelled out Elmo Kambindu’s strike with a sweet volley in the second half for Morena Ramorebodi’s side.

Kambindu, who plies his trade with Chippa United in the PSL, was left unmarked in the box to head home in the 43rd minute to give Namibia a lead.

Ramorebodi picked what looked a strong side on paper, but it was players who hardly had game-time with their clubs this past season, such as Tebogo Tlolane and Lesedi Kapinga, featuring alongside Victor Letsoalo, who was the star of the side that won this cup two years ago.

Others were Thembela Sikhakhane, Katlego Mohamme, Thabo Cele, Shaun Mogaila and Lyle Lakay, who was the skipper of the side.

Letsoalo made history in the 2021 edition, joining Benni McCarthy to score three goals in an official game as Bafana crushed Lesotho 4-0 in the group stage, but he was marginalised on Wednesday.

Ramorebodi, who is in charge of Botswana champions Jwaneng Galaxy, was named the coach of the Bafana B side after winning the same competition in Port Elizabeth in 2021.

He was brought in this side again as Helman Mkhalele doesn’t have a right coaching qualification to sit on the bench.  

Last year, under David Notoane, Bafana’s B side crashed out in the quarter-final to Mozambique on penalties.

It was not opening up for the makeshift South Africa side in the first half, with Lakay and Letsoalo presented with good chances, but the execution and finding the right opponent were their downfall.

As things weren’t working, Kambindu punished Mzansi in the 43rd minute, planting his header into the empty net as he was left unmarked.

However, Ramorebodi made four subs, including that of Human before the second half started. The sub immediately paid off as Human blasted home a sweet volley in the 48th minute.

He picked up a loose ball after Tshegofatso Mabasa, another one of those four subs, hooked the ball away from Namibia goalie Edward Maova.

With Bafana’s makeshift side conceding, it was the first time under Ramorebodi as they won the competition in 2021, having kept clean sheets in all matches.

In the other Group A match earlier, Lebogang Ditsele scored the first half winner as Botswana beat Eswatini. Bafana will now face Botswana in the second group stage match on Saturday.  

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.
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