15 July 2022 – Coach Helman Mkhalele expressed his delight over Bafana Bafana’s performance against Madagascar in the COSAFA Cup Plate semi-final, adding that they had showed great character against a side which threw everything at them.

Bafana Bafana will now take on Botswana in the COSAFA Plate final scheduled for Sunday  at 10h00.

That match will take place at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

“Let me first applaud Madagascar for giving us a fight in the field of play,” Mkhalele said, following their 2-1 win against the Islanders. “They put us under pressure for the most part of the match, which we were able to deal with defensively. Secondly, I would also like to applaud my charges for showing character in this tie, following the disappointing result we got in our first match against Mozambique. We created plenty of chances there, unfortunately goals wouldn’t come. We were able to convert our opportunities this time around and that shows growth and improvement from these boys and what we want to achieve with them.”

Meanwhile, Mkhalele said he was happy to see Ethan Brooks earning some minutes following his return from a knee injury, adding that he had a positive influence on the team’s attack. Brooks only played 20 minutes of that match.

“I spoke to our medical team and they cleared him fit to play some minutes in this match,” Mkhalele said. “He had missed some training sessions with us but I’m pleased with how he controlled the game and helped the team play up front. We will continue to monitor him as his future is far much more important than getting him to play in the final when it is not wise to do so.”