South Africa crowned COSAFA champs
Posted: 25 June 2016 Time: 18:20
Gift Motupa got two goals and an assist as South Africa beat Botswana 3-2 in the COSAFA Cup final at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday night.
After Judas Moseamedi had a goal ruled out for an offside against Menzi Masuku after just three minutes, Botswana took the lead in the 16th minute when Okgabetse Makgantai's audacious attempt from 25 yards out caught goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse off his line.
South Africa pulled themselves level from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute after great work by the bustling Moseamedi as he showed good strength and skill to turn Botswana captain Boitumelo Mafoko in the area and was brought down. Motupa slotted into the bottom-right corner.
Moments before the goal Aubrey Modiba was fortunate to only receive a yellow card when he stamped downwards on Botswana scorer during a challenge won. Makgantai made the most of it but whether contact was made was unclear.
The linesman on the one side also had a shocking 45 minutes, blowing South Africa offside on two occasions in quick succession from Botswana back-passes – one of these passes was picked up by the impressive Moseamedi and he had already rounded the goalkeeper and was about to score when the referee blew.
In the second half Botswana had a spell of pressure but could not turn their corner-kicks into goals, and substitute Thabiso Kutumela put South Africa in the lead with an easy finish after a quick free-kick found Motupa, who drew the goalkeeper before giving Kutumela the tap-in. There was a suspicion of offside against Motupa but the goal stood.
Then Pieterse compounded his night to forget in the Bafana goal with a poor mistake, allowing Kabelo Seakanyeng's routine ball into the box slip through his fingers on the goal-line as Botswana made it 2-2.
But South Africa were not to be denied and found a winner in the 88th minute when Modiba's cross hit Joel Mogorosi's hand as he charged down the ball, and the referee was kind enough to point to the spot. Motupa stepped up again and made no mistake.
The tournament win is South Africa's fourth COSAFA Cup trophy having also won it in 2002, 2007 and 2008.
Swaziland won the bronze medal after beating DR Congo 1-0 in the third-place playoff earlier on Saturday, Sabelo Ndzinisa netting their goal in the 41st minute.
South Africa: Pieterse, Mobara, Coetzee, Malepe, Moerane, Mekoa, Phiri, Modiba, Masuku, Moseamedi (Kutumela 57'), Motupa
Botswana: Masule, Gadibolae, Gaolaolwe, Kebue, Makgantai, Galenamothlale (Seakanyeng 60'), Tshireletso, Mafoko, Sesinyi (Mogorosi 60'), Ditsele, Ramoraka