Botswana began their Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup campaign with a narrow victory over Seychelles, while Angola beat Comoros in their Group A clash.
Durban – Botswana began their Hollywoodbets COSAFA Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Seychelles, while Angola claimed pole position in group A with a 2-0 win over Comoros at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Tuesday.
Botswana captain Thato Kebue scored a well placed header and broke the deadlock soon after half-time.
The staunchy centre back did well to lose his marker before placing his effort far from the goalkeeper and gave his side a 1-0 advantage in the 49th minute.
The Pirates of the Seychelles and Botswana Zebras kicked off match day one of the COSAFA Cup in enterprising fashion with both nations looking to grab an early advantage in Group A.
Lebogang Ditsele was in fine tune for Botswana in the opening 20 minutes, dictating matters from a deep-lying playmaker position and was the key man as they piled on the pressure early on.
With the Seychelles offering little going forward and Botswana seemingly blunt upfront it was no surprise that two sides went into the half-time deadlocked at 0-0
Conceding an early second half goal seemed to instill a sense of urgency on the bench of Seychelles as they rang the changes in the 60th minute, bringing on Brown Julio and striker Josip Ravignia for Brandon Fanchette and Marlon Rose respectively.
A disjointed and low-quality Seychelles side seemed to tire out as the match drew to its conclusion, Botswana cruising to an easy victory with their opponents having not registered a single shot on target.
The late encounter of the day featured Angola and the Comoros islands, the latter still high off making their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) debut earlier this year.
A Pedro Miguel free-kick gave Angola the lead in stylish fashion in the 39th minute. The Pedro Atletico midfielder curled his effort up and over the wall and into the top corner, giving the keeper Abdoul- Aziz Fahad no chance in goal.
Five minutes after half-time and it was 2-0 following a moment of madness by Fahad, conceding a penalty in the 49th minute.
Simone Miranda duly obliged, converting the spot kick and handing Angola control of group A.
Paulo Julioa came off the bench to add the third to make it 3-0 for the Palancas Negras on the 75th minute, his outer foot effort nestling in the bottom corner after beating a few defenders.
The men from the Comoros island pulled one back immediately, Nassim Ali Mchangama capitalising off confusing in the Angola box to grab a consolation goal and make it 3-1
Angola quickly asserted themselves, dominating possession and creating good chances in the process and never looked like seizing their advantage, holding on for an easy victory.
Group A will line up again on Thursday when Comoros and Botswana battle each other with Angola clashing with Seychelles in the late encounter.