• Norodien and Judas fire Bafana into plate final

    Bafana Bafana winger Riyaad Norodien

    Bafana Bafana secured a 2-0 victory against Botswana in their Cosafa Cup plate encounter at the Moruleng Stadium on Tuesday evening, writes MARSHALL GOUTS.

    Stuart Baxter made seven changes to his side that lost 1-0 to Tanzania in their opening encounter on Sunday, with Bruce Bvuma, Tercious Malepe, Mothobi Mvala, Nduduzo Sibiya, Lebogang Maboe and Mohau Mokate all being handed starting berths.

    The game got off to a lively star, with the home almost going behind early on following a miscued kick from Bvuma, but the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper’s blushes was saved with his defence coming to his rescue.

    Botswana came close to taking the lead in the tenth minute, but Bvuma and Mario Booysen ensured that Leinanyane did not break the deadlock, with the latter clearing the ball off the line.

    The visitors posed more of a physical threat and looked to flex their strength against their diminutive opponents.

    Bafana should have taken the lead in the 18th minute when Booysen rose highest to meet Riyaad Norodien’s ball into the area, with the ball falling kindly to Mokate, but the forward’s goal-bound effort was blocked.

    The home side looked threatening in spells, particularly with their combination play, with the pace of Norodien, Sibiya and Maboe causing the visitors a few scares.

    Bafana broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute when Norodien showed great technique to blast home the ball from just inside the area, after some good interplay between Sibiya, Thabo Cele and Mokate.

    Bafana survived two defensive errors to head into the half-time break with a one-goal lead. Baxter made a substitution during the half-time break, with Jamie Webber replacing Norodien.

    The Zebras almost equalised in the 48th minute when a lofted free kick into the area was headed goal-wards, but the resultant effort narrowly missed the target.

    Bafana were the more dominant team in the second stanza, but often showed inexperience when in the final third. Cole Alexander replaced Cele in the 59th minute as Bafana went in search of another goal.

    Bvuma pulled off a stunning save to ensure that Bafana remain in the lead when he tipped over Mathumo’s long-range effort in the 68th minute.

    Botswana looked more threatening after stringing a few passes together, but the Bafana defence did well to thwart any danger.

    The home side had chances to double their lead, but these proved wasteful as Botswana threw numbers forward in a bid to equalise.

    Bafana coach Stuart Baxter was sent to the stands for apparently remonstrating with the linesman towards the closing stages of the match.

    Substitute Moseamedi doubled his sides advantage after showing good composure to control and finish Maboe’s ball into the area.

    South Africa ran 2-0 victors against Botswana to advance to the plate final of the tournament.

    Photo: Samuel Shivambu/Backpagepix

    This story originally appeared on SoccerClub.co.za

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