8 June 2018– Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana defender says they have to show great attitute and determination to overcome Botswana in the Plate Final of the 2018 COSAFA Cup scheduled for this evening (Friday, 8 June 2018) at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Ngezana made his debut for South Africa in the 4-1 victory over Namibia in the Plate semi-final on Tuesday, 5 June and made a good impression.
“I would like to thank God for the opportunity, it is a big occasion representing your country – not just your country but the team where you come from. I was excited when my name was called on the starting line-up because this was an opportunity I had been waiting for for a very long time,” said Ngezana from the squad’s base camp in Polokwane.
“When I didn’t get on the park against Madagascar I had to be patient because I knew my chance would come, and it happened against Namibia. We did very well on the night and were very disciplined at the back. Personally, I don’t think I did too bad, but I believe I can still do much better.”
Ngezana adds that the loss to Madagascar in the quarterfinal motivated them to do well against Namibia.
“I believe we redeemed ourselves after the loss against Madagascar. We went into the match with the motivation that we wanted to win the game because the coach believed in us, and we repaid his faith in us. Deciding the match winner on penalties is always a lottery, and, if you look back, we showed a lot of energy and hunger to win. We were ready and really wanted victory, but things didn’t work out as we expected,” added Ngezana.
“We should have won the game (vs Madagascar) in the first half – they say if you don’t use your chances, your opponents will punish you and that’s exactly what happened. I don’t think we performed badly, and we showed in our second game that we are good enough.”
Bafana Bafana face a Botswana side that won three games and lost only once in this year’s competition.
“We should not underestimate Botswana becasuse they are a very good team. We have seen them in action in this tournament and they are very competitive and full of running. We should go there with great determination and a good attitude – like the one we showed when we face Namibia, but take it a notch higher and results will go our way,” added Ngezana.
“We should be ready to fight for a win because they have proven they are no pushovers and were very unfortunate to lose on penalties to Zimbabwe. They can be physical but we have to stand our ground and stick to our plan if we are to come our victorious.”
This will be the 14thmeeting between the two nations – South Africa has won nine times, with four matches drawn.
Bafana Bafana will be without the suspended Fortune Makaringe – who received two cautions in the last two matches, while Gift Motupa has been withdrawn from the squad due to family bereavement.
In the 3rd/4thPlace play-off, Lesotho will face Madagscar at 19h30 tonight, while Zimbabwe will lock horns with Zambia in the final, to be played on Saturday, 9 June at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium – this is a repeat of the final of 2017 in the competition.
Kickoff is at 15h00.
** NB **
The battle for gold in the COSAFA Cup will be preceded by the final of the ABC Motsepe League National Play-offs between Maccabi and TS Sporting, which kicks off at 11h00 at the same venue.
2018 COSAFA CUP REMAINING FIXTURES:
PLATE FINAL – 17h00
Friday, 8 June 2018
South Africa vs Botswana New Peter Mokaba
THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF – 19h30
Friday, 8 June 2018
Madagascar vs Lesotho New Peter Mokaba
CUP FINAL – 15h00
Saturday, 9 June 2018
Zambia vs Zimbabwe New Peter Mokaba