13 July 2023 – Striker Tshegofatsho Mabasa’s brace against Eswatini brought great joy in the Bafana Bafana COSAFA squad as the team progressed through to the semi-finals of the regional tournament in Durban.
Mabasa’s goals on Tuesday (11 July 2023) set up a mouthwatering semifinal clash against Zambia to be played King Zwelithini Stadium on Friday (14 July 2023). The player was subjected to criticism from fans during the group stage match against Botswana as some felt that he should have had a better showing. Coach Morena Ramoreboli retained his faith in Mabasa, a player he worked with at the Bloemfontein Celtic DDC side where the burgeoning Bafana Bafana star finished as top scorer.
“The tournament so far has been quite good. We have started to get the momentum that we need in order to win this COSAFA Cup going. The mood in the camp has been quite good as well since we met, which was about a week ago, [and] that is what we needed to progress in this tournament,” said Mabasa.
“It’s been a tough season for me personally and to have gotten those goals was a relief. It has been a while since I have scored and it felt good to be on the scoresheet again.”
Mabasa’s second half goals against Eswatini came in the 76th and 88th minute to give Bafana the all-important win that secured Ramoreboli’s side a place in the semifinals.
“At the time we were trailing [0-1 to Eswatini] and coach Ramoreboli spoke to us (Tlholane, Mogaila and myself). He said we needed to have an influence on the game because he believes in our abilities and what we can produce.”
Ramoreboli has been praised for making timeous substitutions and bringing in the right personnel whenever the team has needed them.