Bafana Bafana won the Flat Section of the COSAFA Cup after beating Botswana 2-1 on Sunday morning.
Final of the COSAFA Cup
Results: South Africa 2-1 Botswana
Date: July 17, 2022
Venue: Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium
Bafana made some big changes to the side that beat Madagascar as only captain Kegan Johannes, central defense partner Athenkosi Mcaba and Rowan Human retained their place in the line-up.
The Bafana were under pressure from Botswana early on but looked dangerous on the counterattacks, even though their chances were scarce.
The Zebras came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 25th minute after invading the penalty area and one of their forwards unleashed a low shot which was acrobatically parried by goalkeeper Olwethu Mzimela.
Helman Mkhalele’s men resumed their game after that as they advanced in numbers and finally took the lead ten minutes before the half-time break after Van Wyk fired home a strike into the box which deflected in the lower corner.
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The hosts continued to assert themselves well on the ball but did not pose a danger to the opposition as Botswana were organized defensively.
The Zebras, however, had spaces on the counter-attacks as one of their players almost found the equalizer in the 67th minute with a low pile-driver on the edge of the box but Mzimela made a nice save in the lower corner.
The game was on edge after that and Botswana were down to ten men in the final 12 minutes after Odirile Lekoba was shown a red card for serious misconduct.
Bafana capitalized on his power play, as Selaelo Rasebotja doubled his lead immediately afterwards with an unmarked strike into the box following a counterattack.
As South Africa slowed the pace of the game in the dying minutes, Thato Kebue saved a goal for Botswana in stoppage time with a deflected shot from the edge of the box.
However, it was too little too late as the Bafana Bafana held on to win the plate section of the COSAFA Cup.
Here’s how they line up:
South Africa: Mzimela, Mahlangu, Johannes, Mcaba, Cele, Ndhlovu, Shezi, Van Wyk, Mashigo, Human, Malivha
Botswana: Phoko, David, Kolagamo, Kopelang, Velaphi, Cooper, Tauyatswala, Ditsele, Kebue, Thatanyane.