Namibia 1-4 South Africa: Bafana Bafana thump Brave Warriors to reach Plate final

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Lebohang Maboe (brace), Aubrey Modiba and Siyanda Xulu all netted for Bafana, while Deon Hotto scored a consolation for the Brave Warriors

Namibia 1-4 South Africa: Bafana Bafana thump Brave Warriors to reach Plate final

Lebohang Maboe (brace), Aubrey Modiba and Siyanda Xulu all netted for Bafana, while Deon Hotto scored a consolation for the Brave Warriors

South Africa thumped Namibia 4-1 in a Cosafa Cup Plate semi-final match which was played at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.

Stuart Baxter made three changes to the starting line-up that faced Madagascar, with Siyabonga Ngezana, Gift Links and Wiseman Meyiwa all cracking the nod.

Bafana Bafana went into the encounter wounded having succumbed to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out defeat to Madagascar’s Barea following a 0-0 stalemate in a quarter-final game at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

Baxter’s counterpart, Ricardo Mannetti, also made three changes to the team that faced Zambia over the weekend. Ananias Gebhardt, Wangu Gome and Mariine Papama all made the starting line-up.

The Brave Warriors were also hurting having lost 4-3 on penalties to Chipolopolo in a quarter-final encounter at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium.

The hosts dominated the match from the start with Links, Aubrey Modiba and Lebohang Maboe causing havoc for the Namibia defence everytime they pushed forward.

The first chance of the game fell for Maboe following a mistake by the Brave Warriors, but the diminutive attacker was denied by Maximilian Mbaeva in Namibia's goal. 

Bafana were awarded a penalty after Modiba had tried to dribble past Gebhardt, who stopped him with his hand and the match referee pointed to the spot.

Modiba then stepped up and beat Namibian goalkeeper Mbaeva from the resulting spot to make it 1-0 to South Africa. This was Bafana's first goal of the tournament.

The Brave Warriors were struggling to cope with Bafana’s pace and trickery, and they conceded again two minutes later following a great move involving Maboe, and Ryan Moon.

Kaizer Chiefs marksman Moon flicked the ball to Maboe and the latter fired past on-rushing Mbaeva to make it 2-0 to South Africa with the Namibia badly defence exposed.

The Brave Warriors then grew in confidence as the match continued and they managed to pull one back after the Bafana defence was caught napping, and they were punished by Deon Hotto.

The Bloemfontein Celtic left-winger scored with his weaker foot to make it 2-1 in the 39th minute after beating South Africa shot-stopper Reyaad Pieterse, who was rooted to ground.

However, South Africa were 3-1 up at the interval after Maboe had finished off a beautiful team goal involving Links and Modiba, who had combined very well just before the half-time break. 

Bafana did most of the attacking after the restart and they managed to extend their lead through their captain Siyanda Xulu, who had reacted quickly at the far-post following a good free-kick by Modiba.

Motjeka Madisha forced Mbaeva into a low save from Modiba’s free-kick, but Maritzburg United defender pounced to make it 4-1 to South Africa nine minutes into the second half.

Links, who looked transformed since leaving for Egyptian side Asyouty Sport last January, unleashed a powerful left-footed shot which narrowly missed the target with Mbaeva well-beaten.

South Africa then changed their tactics towards the end of the game as they sat back and they launched quick counter-attacks against Namibia following the introduction of 20-year-old Jamie Webber.

The starlet delivered a delightful cross into the Brave Warrirs box and fellow second half substitute Lyle Foster connected all with the ball, only for Mbaeva to produce a great save to deny the Orlando Pirates striker.

Ultimately, the game ended 4-1 in favour of South Africa, who advanced to the Plate final where they will take on the winner between Swaziland and Botswana.

As a result, Namibia are eliminated from the competition.

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