Mo­tupa stars as South Africa lift Cosafa Cup

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

JOHANNESBURG—Gift Mo­tupa con­verted a penalty two min­utes from time to give South Africa a 3-2 vic­tory over Botswana in the Cosafa Cup fi­nal in Namibia Saturday for a record-equalling fourth ti­tle.

Mo­tupa starred in the cli­max of the 15day south­ern Africa foot­ball cham­pi­onship with two goals from spot-kicks and an as­sist as the favourites were pushed to the wire.

Min­nows Botswana led, trailed and lev­elled be­fore los­ing a thrilling de­cider when substitute Joel Mo­gorosi han­dled and Mo­tupa beat Mwampole Ma­sule from the spot.

Success brought South Africa level on four ti­tles with Zam­bia and Zim­babwe. An­gola have won the an­nual com­pe­ti­tion three times and Namibia once.

Onk­a­betse Mak­gan­tai floated the ball over goal­keeper Reyaad Pi­eterse to put Botswana ahead and Mo­tupa lev­elled be­fore half-time from his first penalty af­ter Ju­das Moseamedi was fouled.

Mo­tupa won pos­ses­sion off a quick free-kick and he set up Thabiso Ku­tumela to give South Africa a sec­ond-half ad­van­tage that lasted just four min­utes.

The Botswana equaliser was a gift from Pi­eterse, who fum­bled a free-kick by substitute Ka­belo Seakanyang into his net.

But Mo­tupa had the fi­nal say to give Bafana Bafana (The Boys) a first Cosafa ti­tle since 2008 and jus­tify the gam­ble of coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba, who fielded a youth­ful team.

Many of the win­ning side will be con­tenders for places in the squad to be an­nounced next month for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games foot­ball tour­na­ment.

Swazi­land re­cov­ered quickly from a five-goal semi-fi­nals thrash­ing by South Africa to edge the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo 1-0 in the third place play-off that pre­ceded the fi­nal.

A fierce Sa­belo Ndzin­isa shot four min­utes be­fore half-time gave Con­golese goal­keeper Ley Matampi no chance.

Swazi Felix Baden­horst, who came off the bench in the sec­ond half, was the lead­ing scorer in the cham­pi­onship with five goals.—AFP

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