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Bafana beat 10-man Botswana to remain in Cosafa Cup race

Bafana Bafana player Shaune Mogaila (right) challenged by Benson Mangolo of Botswana during the 2023 Hollywood Bets Cosafa Cup match at King Zwelithini Stadium on 08 July 2023.
Bafana Bafana player Shaune Mogaila (right) challenged by Benson Mangolo of Botswana during the 2023 Hollywood Bets Cosafa Cup match at King Zwelithini Stadium on 08 July 2023.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana came back from a goal down to defeat a determined 10-man Botswana 2-1 to keep their Cosafa Cup semifinal chances alive at a vibrant King Zwelithini Stadium in Durban on Saturday. 

The two sides went to the break locked at 0-0 and Botswana, were the first to score in the final stanza through Thatayaone Kgamanyane.   

A penalty by Iqraam Rayners and a goal by Shaune Mogaila kept the hosts in the running for glory in the regional tournament. 

Bafana needed to win the match after opening the campaign with a 1-1 draw against Namibia while Botswana’s Zebras defeated Eswatini 1-0. 

Bafana had numerous opportunities to break the deadlock in the opening half, but the South Africans were just blunt up front. 

While Botswana need to be commended for their good, sometimes scrappy, defending, Bafana could have done better. 

Bafana mentor Morena Ramoreboli led his attack with experienced forwards in Iqraam Rayners and Tshegofatsho Mabasa while opening game hero Rowan Human also started the clash. 

Mabasa probably had the best chance of the first half when he missed an open net with just three minutes left before the halftime break. 

Botswana, who looked like they came for a draw, had their chances as well but South Africa goalminder Jethren Barr and his defenders didn’t have much trouble dealing with those attacks. 

Despite Bafana being in control of the game, the Zebras scored first through Kgamanyane who was set up by defender Tebogo Kopelang on 63 minutes. 

But a minute later, Kopelang gave away a penalty after he fouled second-half substitute Victor Letsoalo and the defender was sent off. 

Rayners stepped in and converted from the spot, bringing South Africa back into the game. 

Royal AM’s Mogaila doubled Bafana’s lead on 67 minutes as the hosts capitalised on the numerical advantage. 

South Africa will play their last group A match against Eswatini at Princess Magogo Stadium on Tuesday (6pm).

 

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