05 Jun 2018 23:50pm
By Maqonda Ndlovu
POLOKWANE, 05 June 2018 (NAMPA) South Africa beat Namibia 4-1 in the semi-final of the 2018 Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) Plate at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.
The repeat of the 2017 Cosafa Plate final saw the host dominate from the first whistle as the Brave Warriors failed to settle.
South Africa scored the first goal in rather dubious circumstances in the 26th minute when defender Vitapi Ngaruka was adjudged to have handled a cross from Aubrey Modiba.
Modiba, the left back from Supersport United Football Club in South Africa, sent Maximilian Mbaeva the wrong way from the resultant spot kick to put his side 1-0 up.
Lack of communication two minutes later between Charles Hambira and Teberius Lombard saw the duo go for the same ariel ball which they both missed and the it fell for Lebohang Maboe whose first touch put him face to face with Mbaeva.
The striker kept his cool to slide the ball between the legs of the on-rushing Namibia goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
Ryan Moon then had his bullet header saved by Mbaeva before Mannetti removed the out of sorts Ngaruka for Absalom Iimbondi who had an immediate impact as he was involved in move which saw Wangu Gome set up Deon Hotto, who slotted the ball past Reyaad Pieterse in goal for South Africa to make it 2-1 in the 36th minute.
Another mistake from Namibia saw Denzil Haoseb lose possession in the middle of the park and the hosts punished the Brave Warriors to make it 3-1 through Maboe in the 39th minute.
That goal took the teams into the break and Mannetti immediately responded by bring on Itamunua Keimuine at the expense of Ronald Ketjijere during the half-time break with the aim of chasing the game.
Mannetti's plan did not work out however, as his team soon found itself 4-1 down when Riaan Hanamub committed a foul in his own half and the resultant free kick saw Mbaeva parry away the header from Matlhari 'Fortune' Makaringe, leaving Captain Siyanda Xulu with an easy tap-in.
Namibia had a late penalty shout waved away by Mozambican referee Celso Alvacoa, while Moon saw his header punched away by Mbaeva.
The match ended 4-1 in favour of Bafana Bafana, who now advance to the Cosafa Plate final on Friday, where they will face Botswana, who beat Swaziland 2-0 in the other semi-final.
For Namibia, it is back to the drawing board as the team returns home on Thursday following another unsuccessful campaign.