• Bafana beat Uganda on penalties to progress to Cosafa plate final

    Juma Balinya of Uganda challenged by Keanu Cupido of Bafana Bafana

    Bafana Bafana advanced to the Cosafa Cup Plate final after beating Uganda 4-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in their semi-final clash at Princess Magogo Stadium on Tuesday.

    Bafana came into the encounter looking to pick themselves up after throwing away a 2-0 lead to eventually lose in a penalty shoot out against Botswana, which saw them drop into the plate section of the tournament.

    It was the Ugandan’s who got off to the more positive start as winger Mustafa Kizza made Bafana goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto produce a top spot from Kizza’s long range strike to keep the scores level.

    The Cranes continue to pile on the pressure and they came close again moments after their first chance as Bafana struggled to clear a Dan Serunkuma cross and the ball almost falling to an attacker for a tap in but Mpoto, who got down bravely to snuff out the danger.

    South Africa then had a chance of their own in the 17th minute from a set-play but Keanu Cupido’s header only managed to rattle the crossbar.

    With both sides struggling to create any clear-cut chances Luther Singh’s let fly from range five minutes before the break but his well-struck effort went narrowly over the crossbar.

    0-0 at the break with the game firmly in the balance.

    The away side came out with intent in the second stanza and it did not take them long to take the lead as Serunkuma got on the end of a Juma Balinya through ball before smashing his shot into the bottom left-hand corner with 47 minutes gone.

    David Notoane’s men looked to hit back quickly and came close in the 52nd minute when Jemondre Dickens turned his man brilliantly but couldn’t find the target with his shot.

    Moments later and Bafana had Mpoto to thank again as the keeper got down quickly to produce a top class save from Isinde’s header.

    The game was beginning to open up at this point with both sides creating chances, but it was Bafana who got the important second goal of the game as Singh got on the end of a Dickens pass before riling his shot past Lukwago in the 73rd minute to bring the scores level.

    Bafana had a golden opportunity to snatch it at the death but Singh and Kgaogelo Sekgota were denied by a heroic double save from Lukwago as the match went to penalties.

    Mpoto brilliantly saved the Cranes’ opening two penalties from Kizza and Muzamiru Mutyaba. Bafana netted all of theirs with Webber converting the winning spot-kick to book their spot in the final.

    Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

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