Modise brace sinks islanders

Sipho Mthembu

Sipho Mthembu

MBABANE - Bafana Bafana are through to the semifinals of the Cosafa Castle Cup after winning Group B, beating Mauritius 2-0 at the Somhlolo Stadium yesterday.

They join defending champions Zambia and Mozambique, while the fourth and last semifinal spot will be filled next weekend when the final group games will be held in Botswana.

Germany 2006 World Cup finalists Angola are favourites to advance.

SuperSport United's Teko Modise turned on the style, scoring in each half to steer Bafana Bafana to the rare Cosafa win.

Bafana made five changes to the starting line-up from the team that beat Malawi on penalties on Saturday.

Lamontville Golden Arrows defender Siyabonga Sangweni got his debut, so did teammate Kagiso Dikgacoi, and left-back Tsepo Masilela started in the place of the injured Innocent Mdledle.

James Madidilane got the nod ahead of Jeffrey Ntuka and Petrus Mahlatsi started as Eleazar Rodgers sat on the bench. Unlike on Saturday, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira's experimental team started with more confidence, forcing the Indian Ocean islanders on the back foot. But they failed to press home that advantage.

Even when Mauritius made it clear they were not interested in attacking, as they played a lone striker upfront, Parreira went with a four-man defence and two holding midfielders in Dikgacoi and Masilo Modubi, who was later replaced by Ntuka.

They probed the Mauritius defence but had to wait 20 minutes to break them down. Modise found Petrus Mahlatsi in the box with a long pass , but the Bloemfontein Celtic striker shot narrowly wide.

Bafana Bafana continued to apply the pressure and on the half-hour mark, Mauritius wilted as Bruno Ravina handled Bennet Parker's low cross in the box in a desperate bid to defend. Modise stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, beating Jean-Francois Ammomoothoo to his right.

In the second half, Bafana came back looking for the second as their opponents remained stuck in first gear.

It came as no surprise when Modise popped up to punish the lethargic islanders again on 65 minutes. The SuperSport United winger volleyed home from outside the box.

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