Bafana crowned Cosafa champions

South Africa were crowned the 2016 Cosafa Castle Cup champions after beating Botswana 3-2 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday evening.
This is Bafana Bafana’s fourth Cosafa Cup title, while the Zebras were searching for their maiden regional title.
Bafana, who enjoyed more possession in the opening stages of the game, applied pressure on the Zebras defence in search of an early goal.
It was Botswana though who broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when Onkabetse Makgantai pulled the trigger from range and his effort sailed into the back of the net.
Thabang Sesinyi nearly made it 2-0 to the Zebras ten minutes later, but this time Bafana goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse was alert as he produced a great low save to deny the attacker.
Bafana were handed a good opportunity to restore parity from the spot-kick after Judas Moseamedi was fouled in the Zebras box a minute after the half-hour mark.
South Africa’s midfielder-cum-striker Gift Motupa then stepped and beat Zebras shot-stopper Mwampule Masule, who was rooted to the ground to make it 1-1 on the night.
Eight minutes before the halftime break, Botswana forward Sesinyi nearly restored his side’s lead with a good shot from range, but his effort went inches wide of Pieterse’s left up-right.
Lesego Galenamotlhale’s thunderous shot from outside the Bafana box hit the crossbar eight minutes after the restart with Pieterse rooted to the ground.
Bafana head coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba decided to make the first change of the game in the 56th minute, introducing Thabiso Kutumela for Moseamedi.
It took only ten minutes for Kutumela to make a huge impact as the diminutive striker scored with an easy tap-in to make it 2-1 to South Africa with Motupa providing an assist.
However, a mistake by Pieterse handed the Zebras an equaliser a minute later when the Bafana keeper failed to hold onto Kabelo Seakanyeng’s curling free-kick and the ball crossed the goal line.
With 11 minutes left on the clock Lemponye Tshireletso had a chance to snatch a late winner for the Zebras, but the midfielder’s effort was blocked by the Bafana wall.
In the end, Motupa sealed South Africa’s 3-2 victory when he converted from the spot-kick after Botswana captain Joel Mogorosi was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

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