Bafana beat Botswana 2-0
An understrength Bafana Bafana came away with a more-than creditable 2-0 win from the first leg of their African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against Botswana in Francistown on Saturday.
Kaizer Chiefs’ debutant 20-year-old striker Ryan Moon gave the South Africans the lead in the 28th minute. Gift Motupa made it 2-0 as he finished from a Cole Alexander assist in the 72nd.
Mario Booysen struck the woodwork for the South Africans in the 81st.
The winners of this second round tie play in one more round before qualification for Kenya 2018.
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter handed out three new caps in his starting line-up. Moon, SuperSport United’s South Africa Under-20 international Teboho Mokoena, and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Sibusiso Khumalo made their debuts.
Khumalo was a late replacement for ex-Orlando Pirates central midfielder Lehlogonolo Masalesa, who was withdrawn from the squad as he was not eligible.
Sundowns youth player Malebogo Modise was a fourth debutant as a substitute near the end, though he was in turn substituted off injured by Siphelele Ntshangase a few minutes later.
The Chan, Caf’s tournament for local-based players, has been set aside as a developmental tournament by Safa, with the ‘senior’ team focusing on qualifying for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and 2018 World Cup.
Baxter’s squad consisted of some players who did duty for SA in last month’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea, and PSL players, some of whom are not regular starters at their clubs, such as SuperSport’s Booysen, Alexander and Boalefa Pule, and Orlando Pirates’ Riyaad Norodien.
The return leg is at Moruleng Stadium on Saturday.