18 July 2013
Bafana Bafana were knocked out of the Cosafa Cup tournament at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Lusaka on Wednesday evening by hosts Zambia, who edged the contest 5-3 from the penalty spot. The sides were level at 0-0 after extra time.
Zambia will tackle Zimbabwe in the final on Saturday, while South Africa will face Lesotho for third place. Zimbabwe, who have won a record four Cosafa Cups, downed Lesotho 3-1 in the first semi-final on Wednesday.
“I think this was a very good game tonight of two teams having a go at each other. I would like to congratulate Zambia for the win, although it is never nice to lose on penalties,” Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said after the game.
‘They have their all’
“I thought we were better tonight and as you saw we beat the post twice. I am just disappointed for the boys because I would have loved to see them in the final because they gave their all.”
Referencing the strong home support, Iegsund added: “The crowd did not affect us because we stuck to our game plan and took the game to our opposition. It is just unfortunate we could not get the desired results.
“I feel we were very strong defensively. We dominated the midfield, but maybe we could have done better upfront. But I am quite pleased with the effort of the whole team. It was a tough match, but we held our own.”
Igesund made five changes to the team that played against Namibia in the opening match on Saturday, 13 July, bringing in Katlego Mashego, Ruzaigh Gamildien, Jabulani Shongwe, Thabani Mthembu and Lehlohonolo Nonyane, while Sibusiso Khumalo, Sibusiso Msomi, Lerato Chabangu, Edward Manqele, Mzikayise Mashaba were on the bench.
The first half was a scrappy affair with Zambia dictating terms, but the second stanza was a closely-contested affair with South Africa asking all the questions.
Both sides could have won it in the 90 minutes only for the woodwork to deny them.
First it was Nonyane who hit an upright in the 60th minute with a powerful header, only for Gamildien to shoot the rebound over the bar when it appeared almost easier to score than to miss.
Hit the upright
Twelve minutes later after good move by Lebogang Manyama and Mandla Masango, Masanago put in a cross that found Chabangu, but he hit the upright with the keeper in no man’s land, and Zambia survived.
The home side gave the visitors a scare four minutes from time when Kondwani Mtonga beat the offside trap to tap in, only for his shot to hit the crossbar.
Thirty minutes of extra time produced no goals leading to the dreaded penalty shootout.
Zambia managed to score their spot kicks through Alex Ngonga, Bornwell Mwape, Moses Phiri, Kabaso Chongo and Bronson Chama. For South Africa only Chabangu had his shot saved, while Thulani Hlatshwayo, Lebogang Manyama, and Mzikayise Mashaba scored.
SAinfo reporter and South African Football Association