South Africa will face a confident Lesotho outfit during the Cosafa Cup 3rd/4th playoff at the Levy Nwanawasa Stadium on Saturday.
Both teams were unlucky to not make the semi-final stage of the competition, after the Crocodiles were edged out by Zimbabwe, and Bafana Bafana lost to hosts Zambia in the lottery of a penalty shootout.
Lesotho have enjoyed a unprecedented run in this year’s competition, earning the tag of giant killers after overcoming Kenya and Botswana in the group stages and defeating Angola in the quarter-finals.
South Africa beat Namibia 2-1 in a tight encounter to reach the semi-final stage. The semi-final against Zambia should have ended in victory for Bafana Bafana, but they spurned numerous chances and eventually lost a penalty shootout against the host 5-3.
The match will give South Africa coach Gordon Igesund another chance to test his reserve players. Lesotho should prove to be a tough opponent for Igesund’s youthful side, with consistent striker Tshepo Tale the player to watch out for.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- South Africa and Lesotho played a friendly match in Maseru earlier this year, where Bafana Bafana finished 2-0 victors.
Tlou Segolela scored both goals in the warm-up match for 2014 World Cup qualification.
South Africa have a wholly different squad for this Cosafa Cup encounter, with only Katlego Mashego and Wayne Sandilands enduring members of the team which played in Maseru.
Bafana Bafana have won the Cosafa Cup on three occasions.
Lesotho were runners-up in the 2000 edition of the Cosafa Cup, their finest performance to date in the competition.
Leslie Notsi was appointed as coach of the Crocodiles in 2009 and is one of the longest serving coaches on the African continent.