Bafana bite dust, again

03 July 2017 - 07:41 By Mark Gleeson
Stuart Baxter. File photo
Stuart Baxter. File photo

South Africa were bundled out of the Cosafa Castle Cup quarterfinal yesterday, being narrowly beaten by Tanzania at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Rustenburg.

Elias Maguiri's 18th-minute strike gave the visitors a semifinal berth. Although the makeshift home team dominated the match, the side looked like the patchwork collection of players they were.

"It was very disappointing. I think the game was poor. There was not a lot of quality shown by either side but we had a few chances, and built a bit of pressure, but failed to take them.

"A very disappointing evening," said a frustrated Stuart Baxter after a second successive defeat since he returned to the Bafana Bafana job.

There is not much for him to work on, just 48 hours before their next game, against Botswana at Moruleng Stadium in North West tomorrow. Tanzania meet Zambia on Wednesday, also at Moruleng Stadium, in the semifinal.

South Africa's line-up had only five previous caps between them and the makeshift nature of the selection was evident early as the combinations looked a little uncertain.

But Cole Alexander, parachuted into the squad only on Thursday, was busy from the beginning, despite not having played since last February.

His midfield work shone over the other contributions, although Judas Moseamedi upfront showed off his potential too.

In fact he should have had the first goal when a long ball from Mario Booysen prompted him to run on and finish - but the linesmen flagged him offside.

The decision, which the TV replays showed was incorrect, denied South Africa a chance to go into the lead.

Instead it was Tanzania who took the lead immediately after the incident with a superb ball over the top of a South African defence that had pushed up too high, allowing Maguiri to get in behind Lorenzo Gordinho and with a solid first touch beat Boalefa Pule, whose positioning let him down.

South Africa went into half time a goal down but 7-0 up in the corner count and with 65% of the possession.

Again they dominated the second period but Tanzania had a stout defence.

But there were late chances for Moseamedi, one of the few shining lights for South Africa, and Gordinho, who might have snatched a stoppage-time equaliser.