Bafana End Cosafa On Winning Note

Author: iDiski Times
 | Date: July 17, 2022

Bafana Bafana wrapped up their Cosafa Cup journey on Sunday morning as they beat Botswana 2-1 in the Plate Final at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

Bafana were relegated to the Plate competition after losing in a penalty shootout to Mozambique, after a goalless draw in the quarter-finals.  They bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Madagascar on Friday. Helman Mkhalele rang the changes for this game, making eight changes to the team, including six new caps starting. 

Antonio Van Wyk had a half chance in the 11th minute, but he was unable to direct Rowan Human’s cross on target.

Debutant goalkeeper Olwethu Mzimela had to be alert in the 21st minute, making a good save at a corner, while a minute later a defensive header from Kegan Johannes went just wide of goal.

Human went close in the 25th minute, but his shot was wide of goal, before a chance at the other end drew a fantastic save from Mzimela. 

Bafana grabbed the lead in the 34th minute, albeit somewhat fortuitously. The impressive Van Wyk broke into the box, and an attempted clearance ricocheted off the Stellenbosch forward and into the goal.

The former Ubuntu Academy graduate almost scored again just before the break, missing by inches, but his one goal was enough to give South Africa the lead at the break.

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Human tried a long-range effort in the 51st minute, but it was well saved by Botswana goalkeeper Goitseone Phoko. Mothusi Cooper tried a long shot for Botswana three minutes later, but Mzimela got down well to save.

Mzimela was needed again in the 67th minute, as he made a good save to deny Gape Thibedi’s effort.

Botswana were reduced to ten men when Odirile Lekoba was shown a straight red card for a foul on Khulekani Shezi in the 80th minute

Bafana immediately added to the score when substitute Selaelo Rasebotja was on hand to finish off a good move, an assist from another sub Jayden Adams.

Van Wyk tried again in the 84th minute, but this time his shot was deflected wide, Keletso Sifama tried on the follow-up, but his attempt was deflected behind. A minute later Ethan Brooks’ shot from the edge of the area was deflected behind.

Just before full-time Botswana pulled one back as captain Thato Kebue ‘s deflected shot from range left Mzimela with no chance.

A victory to end the tournament for the Bafana U23 team, who are using the tournament to prepare the team for the upcoming U23 qualifiers.

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