Bafana fail to down Tan­za­nia; huff, puff to de­feat

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - SOC­CER RE­PORTER South Africa Tan­za­nia

0 (0) 1 SOUTH AFRICA failed to progress to the semi-fi­nals of the Cosafa Cup yes­ter­day fol­low­ing de­feat to Tan­za­nia at the Royal Bafo­keng Sta­dium in Rusten­burg.

The re­sult means the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons will be de­moted to the plate semi-fi­nals, were they’ll hope to pro­duce the de­sired re­sult to see them through to the fi­nal.

In the first pe­riod, af­ter scor­ing the opener just 18 min­utes into the game, Tan­za­nia opted to play a pa­tient game, adding num­bers to their de­fence, while wait­ing to catch their op­po­nents on the break as they probed for a sec­ond goal.

The strat­egy proved to be ex­ceed­ingly frus­trat­ing for Bafana Bafana’s head coach, Stu­art Bax­ter, as his team failed to adapt to their op­po­nent’s game­plan.

Bafana con­tin­u­ously strug­gled to con­nect their passes, es­pe­cially in the fi­nal third and were forced to mostly hoof the ball for­ward in a vain at­tempt to reach their man up­front, Ju­das Moseamedi.

Their strat­a­gem was foiled each time, how­ever, as the op­po­si­tion’s de­fense was well po­si­tioned to close down the tow­er­ing striker – Moseamedi given less room to take those deadly shots he’s so well known for.

Tan­za­nia’s goal came in the form of their striker, Elias Maguri, who struck a pow­er­ful shot inside the penalty area, af­ter re­ceiv­ing a sweet pass from the heart of the mid­field to beat Su­perS­port United’s third choice shot-stop­per Boafela Pule be­tween the sticks.

It should be re­mem­bered that Bax­ter’s line-up was made up of eight debu­tants, who were roped in, in an ef­fort to af­ford them se­nior na­tion team ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter the likes of Le­bo­gang Phiri and Mandla Masango were not se­lected due to their non­re­lease by the re­spec­tive Euro­pean clubs to play in this competition.

In the sec­ond pe­riod, South Africa huffed and puffed, but couldn’t break the op­po­si­tion’s wall down.

One of the clear chances they had, came in the 67th minute when Web­ber whipped in a clean cross into the 18-yard box in search of the ad­vanc­ing Cole Alexan­dra. The at­tack­ing mid­fielder, how­ever, failed to con­nect, try­ing to flip it on with his back heel, as it whizzed past him.

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