narrow win for sa

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

A solitary goal by Moroka Swallows' midfielder Lefa Tsutsulupa against Zambia last night fired Amabinneplaas, the national development team, into the final of the Cosafa Senior Challenge to be played on Sunday.

Tsutsulupa struck a perfect free-kick from long range that beat Zambian and Free State Stars' goalie Kennedy Mweene in the 14th minute.

The match was played in front of a cheering crowd on an artificial pitch at Thulamahashe Stadium in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.

Amabinneplaas, who are the defending champions, will meet the winner between Madagascar and Mozambique in the final at the same venue. Kickoff is at 3pm.

Madagascar and Mozambique played late last night.

Tsutsulupa was voted the man of the match.

"We played as a unit and my team mates contributed to me scoring that goal. It will be wrong for me to take credit alone," he said.

Serame "Rhee" Letsoaka, the Amabinneplaas coach, admitted that his charges did not play well against Zambia, but he was nevertheless excited that they had qualified for the final.

"Nobody will remember us playing badly today. They will remember that we reached the final. We played against a team that had seven players who featured in the African Cup of Nations and beating them is good for us," he said.

The South Africans played defensively, thus allowing the Zambians to launch dangerous attacks. But Amabinneplaas goalie and captain Jacob Mokhasi kept the Zambians at the bay throughout the match.

Mokhasi denied the likes of Rodger Kola and Noah Chivuta from point blank in the dying minutes of the match.

Amabinneplaas forward Petrus Mahlatsi, who was brought on for midfielder Bridget "Six" Motha in the 41st minute, fluffed a golden scoring opportunity on the stroke of half time. This after receiving a good square pass from Marcelino Fransch from the right flank. Zambia tried every trick in the book to get an equaliser but could not penetrate Amabinneplaas.