A goalless 90 minutes saw the game decided on penalties, and for the second straight match in the tournament, Bafana Bafana were unable to see out the win as they exit the tournament having not scored a goal in regulation time.
Chances were few and far between throughout the 90 minutes, with neither side looking to threaten the opposition goal. Bafana Bafana started the stronger of the two sides in the early stages with two successive corners, yet Malawi goalkeeper McDonard Harawa was alert to the danger.
The best chance of the first half fell to platinum Stars midfielder Tlou Segolela, who after being picked out unmarked at the back post, could only side-foot his effort wide.
It was much the same in the second stanza, again Segolela the man with the best opportunity as he could only pull his effort wide, hitting the side-netting from his angled shot with 15 minutes left on the clock. Lebo Manyama’s speculative cross-come-shot summed up the game’s chances, with Bafana’s eight attempts on goal, and Malawi’s five, never looking to trouble the scoreline.
The lottery of a penalty shoot-out would then determine the victors, and following three successful penalties each, it was Malawi’s Mician Mhone who first failed to convert, yet Marc Van Heerden was denied on the very next kick as the scores remained level.
Two successful penalties meant sudden death, as Ajax Cape Town’s Robin Ngalande scored for Malawi, yet Siyabonga Nhlapo was denied by Harawa as the Flames emerged 5-4 victors.
Malawi now face Zambia in Friday’s Plate Final.
Bafana Bafana XI: Mabokgwane, Nhlapho, Mngonyama, Daniels, Van Heerden, Lark, Madisha, Morena (Nyanda 40’), Segolela, Motupa (Ekstein 59’), Bhengu (Manyama 62’)
Malawi XI: Harawa, Lanjesi, Fodya, Malata, Sulumba (Mkanda 35’), J. Banda, Kumwenda (Ngalande 82’), Kayira, Mzava, Mhone, Phiri (F. Banda 78’)
Frank Banda – scores
Clayton Daniels - scores
Limbikani Mzava - scores
Mduduzi Nyanda - scores
Zicco Mkanda - scores
Motjeka Madisha - scores
Mician Mhone - saved
Mark van Heerden - saved
Lucky Malata - scores
Lebo Manyama - scores
Robin Ngalande - scores
Siyabonga Nhlapo - saved