South Africa 2-1 Namibia: Downs duo secure Bafana a semi-final spot

Bafana are into the semi-finals of the Cosafa Cup following their 2-1 win over Namibia at the Nkoloma Stadium on Saturday afternoon

South Africa started the first half well, but they struggled with possession as they couldn’t complete more than five passes going forward.

Lebogang Manyama enjoyed himself on the right wing, and played a beautiful pass to Edward Manqele, but the Namibian defence out-paced the Bafana man to win the ball.

Namibia should have taken the lead in the 7th minute when Pinehas Jakob found himself in the Bafana box, but the Namibian midfielder blasted his shot over the bar.

Wayne Sandilands had to dive to his right to deny Sydney Urikhob in the 15th minute, as Bafana looked vulnerable at the back.

Bafana continued to be patient in the build-ups, but they never really looked like scoring despite the experience of Lerato Chabangu in attack.

The Namibians had another shot on target in the 32nd minute when Petrus Shitembe unleashed his effort from outside the penalty area, but it was close to Sandilands.

Gordon Igesund added power upfront in the 33rd minute when he introduced Ruzaigh Gamilidien for defender Sibusiso Khumalo.

The Namibian keeper Virgil Vries nearly fumbled Chabangu’s long-range effort in the 38th minute, but he was a bit fortunate, as the shot wasn’t on target.

Both teams had to settle for a 0-0 score-line in the first 45 minutes, as they continued to fire blanks.

Bafana were the better side in the second half, and it took them two minutes to get their first shot at goal.

South Africa were in front in the 48th minute when substitute Jabulani Shongwe beat the Namibian keeper Vries with a swerving rocket from outside the box.

The Brave Warriors threatened on the hour mark, but they often lacked players in the Bafana box which allowed Thulani Hlatshwayo and Buhle Mkhwanazi to easily deal with their crosses.

Bafana doubled their lead in the 63rd minute after the Namibian defence failed to clear their lines, and Hlompho Kekana beat Vries with a powerful shot.

The Brave Warriors were awarded a penalty in the 70th minute, and Willy Stephanus controversially slotted home to make it 2-1.

Manqele then nearly gave Bafana some breathing space a minute later, but the Namibian defence did well to block his shot and Vries eventually collected.

Sandilands did well to deny Namibia in the final seven minutes of the game, as the Brave Warriors looked desperate for that equalizing goal, but Bafana held on for an important win and a place in the semi-finals.