13 July 2021 – The Cosafa Tournament has been a rocky ride for the young national team that assembled for camp almost three weeks ago.
The Novel Corona Virus has not spared the team from dismay, with the original squad changing shape as they landed in the host Province of the Eastern Cape. Players changed and so did the technical staff.
The first game against Botswana in Group A resulted in a singular goal scored by Kagiso Malinga while Eswatini’s win was thanks to Thabang Sibanyoni, both players came off the bench to stamp their names on the score sheets. Needless to say the thin pickings for substitutions was evident on the bench and there was a dire need for reinforcement.
The third game against Lesotho is one for the history books as Victor Letsoalo becomes only the second South African player to score a hat-trick on debut and Sphelele Mkhulise set the pace scoring the first goal in five minutes, as Bafana won 4-0.
“Today is a proud moment. It is not only about the strikers who score but it’s about a team collective who rise and win,” SAFA (South African Football Association) President Dr. Danny Jordaan who paid the team a visit after their joyous win. Against a backdrop of violence and strife, SAFA President believes that Bafana’s win brings hope to the nation.
“These players have the hunger and the heart and it is up to them to believe in themselves. There’s no turning back now. The choice of direction they take is up to them. I know every player present has the will to go all the way to the final,” Coach Morena Ramereboli.
Bafana Bafana take on Zambia in the last game of the group stage on Wednesday and move into the semi-finals taking place on Friday at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Gqeberha.