Bafana to dish out COSAFA Cup debuts

Bafana Bafana have a date with their East African guests as they begin the defence of the regional title they won last year in Namibia, seeking to become the first country to lift the trophy five times.

Tanzania squeaked through Group A on goal difference after Thursday's 1-1 draw against Mauritius, having previously beaten Malawi and drawn against Angola.

It will be a first clash between the two countries since 2011, when then Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane took an experimental line-up to Dar-es-Salaam for a friendly.

Eleven players in all made their international debuts that day in a 1-0 success for South Africa, some going on to have good careers in the national team, others finding their experience of international football all too fleeting.

Erick Mathoho is perhaps the most notable of those debutants and remains a national-team player to this day, along with Hlompho Kekana.

Thabo Matlaba, Sifiso Myeni and Lehlonoholo Majoro would also earn their first caps and play on through the coming years.

Less so for Thandani Ntshumayelo, Wayne Sandilands, Vuyisile Wana and Siyanda Zwane, while for Prince Hlela and Erwin Isaacs it proved their only international caps.

Siyabonga Sangweni got the only goal of the game as Mosimane’s men claimed a fine win.

The only other meeting between the two teams was in 2002 when they played to a 1-1 draw in the four-nation Castle Lager Cup. South Africa triumphed 4-3 on penalties.

Tsepo Ntsoane got their goal that day under then coach Shakes Mashaba, with South Africa captained by goalkeeper John Tlale.

It was also an experimental side that had Phumlani Dindi, his only cap, and Sphiwe Mkhonza make their debuts, while the likes of Calvin Motloung, Fees Moloi and Jason Lakay also made rare national team appearances.