Motupa stars as South Africa lift Cosafa Cup
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