Bafana beat Namibia as their de­cline con­tin­ues

African Times - - Sports - MASHUDU SADIKE

PLAY­ING at home Bafana Bafana were the favourites to thrash Min­nows Mada­gas­car in the quar­ter fi­nal clash of the Cosafa cup on home soil.

But South Africa, who had se­lected a youth­ful side for the tour­na­ment, were far from con­vinc­ing as the vis­it­ing team played with con­fi­dence and ex­changed de­cent passes in the open­ing half of the match at Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium, Polok­wane in Limpopo over the week­end.

The lo­cals, who won the com­pe­ti­tion in 2016, now drop to the plate com­pe­ti­tion. On the other hand Mada­gas­car has joined Zam­bia and Le­sotho in the semi-fi­nals.

Due to their higher rank­ing in the re­gion, Bafana and the likes of Zam­bia and Zim­babwe did not play in the pre­lim­i­nary round but only joined the tour­na­ment in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

The best chance of the match fell to Le­bo­hang Maboe who fluffed the eas­i­est of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the 35th minute of the first half.

Min­utes into the sec­ond half South Africa’s left back Aubrey Modiba was de­nied by the post.

The visi­tors showed lit­tle re­spect for their highly ranked op­po­nents’ thought of the match and their con­fi­dence grew as the match pro­gressed.

The game ended in a dead­lock and had to be de­cided in the penal­ties.

Bafana went first and Limpopo born Mot­jekaa Madisha did not make a mis­take from the spot kick.

Goal stop­per Riad Piertens gave Bafana Bafana some hope when he saved Mada­gas­car’s first penalty. The home side en­joyed the ad­van­tage un­til 20 year old Jamie Web­ber missed the tar­get al­low­ing Mada­gas­car to draw level.

It went from bad to worse when an­other 20 year old Luther Singh was de­nied by the goal keeper on Bafana’s last kick from the spot.

Mean­while Zim­babwe, with a full-strength team, had to rely on penal­ties to beat Botswana.

But Zim­babwe were far more con­vinc­ing over the 90 min­utes against Botswana team who had looked like the form team of the group phase, than Bafana were against at-best phys­i­cal, but oth­er­wise pedes­trian Mada­gas­car.

Mada­gas­car will take on Zam­bia in the semi-fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion while South Africa an­ni­hi­lated Namibia 4-1 in a plate semi-fi­nal on Tues­day night at the old Peter Mok­aba sta­dium.

Aubrey Modiba opened the scor­ing on the 26th minute for Bafana in a penalty kick when the ball was han­dled in the box by a Namib­ian de­fender.

Le­bo­hang Maboe fol­lowed suit with a shot on tar­get that saw Namibia scrap­ping for the ball at the end of the first half

Bafana were putting out the pres­sure to Namibia and added a third by the half time mark but not be­fore Namibia pulled one back.

The sec­ond half was all to play for Namibia only to al­low the South Africans to score an­other one to make it 4-1 by the end of the match.

South Africa are to play in the plate fi­nal on Fri­day against Botswana.The Cosafa cup draws to a close on Satur­day with the cup fi­nal match.

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