Home Sport Rookie Bafana dumped out of Cosafa Cup at first hurdle

Rookie Bafana dumped out of Cosafa Cup at first hurdle

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After a goalless draw during their Cosafa Cup quarter-final against Mozambique, Bafana Bafana went down on penalties and were eliminated from the competition.

Keletso Sifama of South Africa is challenged Edmilson Dove of Mozambique during their Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup quarter-final match at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Wednesday
Keletso Sifama of South Africa is challenged Edmilson Dove of Mozambique during their Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup quarter-final match at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Wednesday. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

Durban — Bafana Bafana flunked out of the Hollywoodbets Cosafa Cup at the first hurdle as they went down to Mozambique via a penalty shoot-out following a goalless draw at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Wednesday evening.

A noisy reception in Umlazi met a youthful Bafana side looking to defend their Cosafa Cup crown.

Coach Helman Mkhelele handed the ropes over to DStv Premiership regulars in SuperSport United’s Keagan Johannes and Athenkosi Mcaba of Stellenbosch to marshal the side as a centre-back pairing while Orlando Pirates youngster Boitumelo Radiopane led the line.

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Bafana showed intent from the get go, dominating possession, shifting the Mambas defence from side to side in search of a breakthrough and perhaps they should have found one through Keletso Sifama in the 13th minute.

The Kaizer Chiefs man pounced on a loose ball in the Mozambican penalty area following confusion in their defence but skied his effort from a tight angle.

The youth of Bafana slowly showed as the half wore on with a few misplaced passes giving Mozambique the momentum.

The Mambas almost found their first goal in the 25th minute through former Cape Town City man Dove Edmilson. The flying fullback was a menace for Bafana to deal with, and cut in before letting rip with his right foot, but his effort sailed just wide of Lincoln Vyver’s goal.

Following an even first half, the second stanza saw a renewed Bafana emerge from the tunnel with SuperSport duo Selaelo Rasebotja and Thapelo Maseko pulling the strings.

Rasebotja won a 50/50 challenge and set Maseko through on goal, but his effort was courageously cleared off the line with the goalkeeper Alberto Siluane beaten.

Mkhelele’s charges dominated the entire match but were met with a staunch and resilient Mozambique defence who refused to offer up any clear chances.

With all the exerted pressure, Bafana could not find a breakthrough and put their qualification chances on the dreaded penalty shoot-out with Mozambique won 5-4.

In the other quarter-final, Senegal beat Eswatini 10-9 on penalties to book a semi-final spot.

Generation Foot midfielder Lamine Camara got things under way for the current African champions with a beautifully taken free-kick from a long way out.

Sihlangu goalkeeper Mathabela Sandanezewe would have been disappointed with himself as Camara’s floated effort flew over his head and into the top corner and gave the Lions of Teranga a 1-0 lead heading into the break.

Philani Mkhontfo came off the bench to draw the two sides level in the 60th minute, finishing calmly after being put through on goal by Sandile Gamedze.

In the end the two teams could not be separated in regulation time and Senegal progressed to the semi-finals via a penalty shoot-out.

@SmisoMsomi16

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