Bafana Bafana are the 2021 COSAFA Cup champions. South Africa beat guest side Senegal 5-4 after sudden death to lift their fifth Cosafa title. The game had to be decided on penalties after it failed to produce any goals after hundred and twenty minutes of play. Bafana Bafana were looking to defend their perfect record in this year’s tournament against guest side Senegal in the final of the Cosafa Cup tournament in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape.
South Africa were still without a loss in five matches, and they still had to concede a goal since the tournament started two weeks ago. Bafana Bafana were looking for their first Cosafa title since they won in Namibia back in 2016. They crossed swords with a side that came from two goals down to draw 2-all with Eswatini in the semi-finals on Friday, before winning 3-nil in a penalty shoot-out.
The hosts had scored nine goals in five games, with Senegal having scored eight and conceded six. The visitors used their physical strength to try and contain Bafana Bafana. Both sides created very few scoring opportunities in the first half that failed to produce any goals. Senegal coach Joseph Koto got a red card on the stroke of half-time for arguing with match officials.
Bafana Bafana players pleaded for a penalty early in the second half but the referee waved play on. The West Africans also pleaded for their own penalty in the 64th minute. South Africa were denied a goal by the Senegal keeper Pape Ndiaye 19 minutes from time.
Ndiaye made another important save three minutes later. There was no goal after ninety minutes and the game went into extra-time, which also failed to produce any goals. Bafana Bafana scored their first two spot kicks, before Ndiaye denied Ethen Brooks. Captain Veli Mothwa also saved a penalty and it went to sudden death.
Nyiko Mobbie scored South Africa’s first spot-kick in sudden death. Then Ndiaye balloned his kick over the bar to hand Bafana Bafana the 2021 Cosafa title.
Eswatini finish third
Meanwhile, Eswatini beat Mozambique 4-2 on penalties in the third place play-off match earlier. Mozambique were the first to score in that match through Martinho Alberto Thauzene six minutes before the break. Kethokuhle Mkhontfo got a late equaliser for Eswatini, and the match had to be decided on penalties. Eventually Eswatini won 4-2 on penalties to clinch third place. —SABC