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Friday’s Cosafa Cup Review: Bafana Bafana claim Plate final, Zimbabwe finish third

21:52 WAT 07/06/2019
South Africa U20, Mondli Mpoto
The hosts overcame the Flames to become Plate champions and the Warriors secure third spot beating Lesotho

The 2019 Cosafa Cup action continued on Friday, where the hosts South Africa were looking to defend their Plate trophy against Malawi at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

In a clash that got underway at 17:00, coach David Notoane’s men were chasing for an improved performance following a loss to Botswana in the quarter-finals, and a win on penalties over Uganda during the week.

Notoane made changes in his starting line-up and brought back the likes of Reeve Frosler, Grant Margeman as well as Tercious Malepe for experience, yet they could still not find the back of the net in the match.

On the other hand, the Flames were fresh from a win against Comoros and were the better of the two in the opening stages of the tie as Gerald Phiri Junior led their attack.

The encounter had to be decided in extra time, but neither side could break the deadlock and it went to a penalty shoot-out.

Following a 4-4 stalemate during penalties, SuperSport United’s Teboho Mokoena made it 5-4 for the hosts in sudden death, but Charles Petro struck the underside of the crossbar in thus ensuring the four-time champions walked away with a victory.

In the second match of the day at the iconic 2010 Fifa World Cup venue, Lesotho met the 2018 champions in the form of Zimbabwe in a clash that got underway at 19:30.

The Warriors were still licking their wounds after losing to Zambia in the Cup semi-finals on Wednesday night.

On the part of the Likoena, they were dispatched by the Zebras of Botswana in the cup semi-finals and were hoping to secure a bronze medal.

However, coach Rahman Gumbo’s men started on fire and as early as the 13th minute, striker Tafadzwa Rusike made it 1-0 for the 2019 Caf African Cup of Nations-bound squad.

Lesotho could not hold back and they probed for an equaliser, and their efforts were rewarded in the 32nd minute through midfielder Jane Thabantso.

The Zimbabweans continued to push for a win and their efforts were eventually rewarded when Leeroy Mavunga made it 2-1 in the hour mark, but their lead was short-lived.

South African-based midfielder Tshwarelo Bereng levelled the scores seven minutes later to revive hopes for the side from the mountainous kingdom as it ended at 2-2.

Heading to penalties, the Warriors were looking to redeem themselves after their defeat to ChipolopTthey were clinical in their spot kicks to clinch a 5-4 win to finish third in this year’s regional showpiece.