Bafana Sail Into Cosafa Cup Final
Bafana Bafana will play Senegal in Sunday’s Cosafa Cup final, after beating Mozambique 3-0 in their semi-final at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqebeha.
Earlier in the day guest nation Senegal had beaten eSwatini in the other semi-final, winning a penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw.
Bafana were under some early pressure from their opponents, and there was a small scare in the 8th minute as captain Veli Mothwa was unable to hold onto a low cross, but the defence were able to clear their lines.
Joaqim Mapangane had a chance in the 13th minute, but his shot from outside the area flew over Mothwa’s goal.
Monnapule Saleng had Bafana’s first shot on target from a free kick in the 17th minute, but Alberto Siluane was able to save after the shot deflected off the wall. Siluane was needed again four minutes later, as he punched another Saleng free kick away from danger.
Bafana were in front in the 24th minute, as Njabulo Ngcobo headed in his first international goal, finishing off after a good delivery from a free kick by Siyethemba Sithebe.
Rushine De Reuck almost headed in a second in the 35th minute, but Siluane made a good reflex save to deny the Mamelodi Sundowns defender.
At halftime, Bafana led 1-0, thanks to Ngcobo’s goal.
The Black Mambas came out in the second half pushing for an equaliser, and Mothwa had to be alert in the 55th minute as substitute Estevao Novela’s shot from the edge of the area was on target. Victor Tesoura Junior shot wide a minute later.
Man of the match Yusuf Maart continued his impressive tournament when he made it 2-0 in the 59th minute, scoring with a beautiful curling shot from just outside the box. And that goal deflated Mozambique, who until that point, were giving a decent display.
Sphelele Mkhukise went close in the 68th minute, but his effort from close range was just wide of the goal, while a minute later Saleng also shot wide after being set up by Mkhulise.
Victor Letsoalo headed just over in the 71st minute after getting to the end of a good cross from Sifiso Ngobeni.
Seconds later Bafana were awarded a penalty, after Letsoalo was fouled by Mapangane in the box. The striker picked himself up to take the spot kick and made no mistake. 3-0. It was Letsoalo’s fourth goal of the tournament, the first time a South African has hit that mark in the Cosafa tournament history.
Ngobeni forced a save out of Siluane in the 80th minute, as the left back tried to score at the near post. Letsoalo could have made it four in stoppage time, but after another setup from Ngobeni, he shot high and wide
While the Mambas had threatened, in the end they succumbed to Bafana, who dominated the final stages, and go into the final yet to concede a goal after five games in this tournament.