Bafana fail to down Tanzania; huff, puff to defeat
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.