Bafana Bafana have claimed the COSAFA Cup plate final crown once again after overcoming Malawi on penalties at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Bafana coach David Notoane re-called Reeve Frosler, Grant Margeman and Tercious Malepe to the side, while Liam Jordan joined Luther Singh in the attack.
The Flames started like a house on fire as Gerald Phiri Junior went close to opening the scoring with a free-kick, which impressively parried away by Bafana shot-stopper Mondli Mpoto after 13 minutes.
Similarly to the semi-final, Notoane was forced in to another first-half change as defender Keanu Cupdio was unable to continue and was replaced by Katlego Mohamme 10 minutes before the break.
Soon after, Kamohelo Mahlatsi was unlucky not to find the breakthrough for Bafana with a glancing header that crashed against the crossbar following a corner, before Ghabadinho Mhango was denied by Mpoto at the other end minutes later.
The Malawians enjoyed most of the ball in the first half, but they were unable to find a way past an inspire Mpoto before the halftime break, while Singh squandered a golden chance which could have seen Bafana enter the break one goal up.
Jordan had a chance for the young Bafana five minutes inside the second stanza after creating space but he guided his shot wide following a quick corner-kick while Mahlatsi went close with a snapshot moments later as Bafana upped the tempo.
With 20 minutes remaining Mahlatsi should have found the breakthrough for Notoane’s men after latching onto a rebound by shot-stopper Brighton Munthali following a free-kick by Jordan, but he struck his shot glaringly wide at close range.
The pace of the game was slowed down in the closing stages, with both sides being cagey but Mbulu almost snatched a late winner for the Flames six minutes before time with a header that sailed wide as the encounter went to extra-time.
Extra-time proved to be more of the same from both sides as clear-cut chances were hard to come by, which ultimately sent the clash to a penalty shoot-out.
Bafana have been involved in three shoot-outs this tournament and they managed to hold their nerve for the second time to triumph 5-4 in the shoot-out to claim fifth place.
Here’s how they lined up:
Bafana: 22. Mpoto, 2. Cupido (Mohamme 35′), 5. Dlala, 23. Frosler, 13. Mukumela, 8. Margeman, 15. Malepe, 7. Links, 6. Mahlatsi, 14. Jordan, 11. Singh.
Subs: 1. Pieterse, 3. Mohamme, 4. Mokoena, 9. Dickens, 10. Makgalwa, 12. Webber, 16. Johnson, 17. Lepasa, 18. Mthethwa, 19. Sam, 20. Mbhele, 21. Sekgota.
Malawi: 1. Munthali, 2. Sanudi, 3. Petro, 4. Cholopi, 7. Mhone, 8. Idana, 17. J. Banda, 9. Mbulu, 10. Phiri Jnr, 11. Mhango, 12. Sambani
Subs: 5. Denis, 6. C. Chirwa, 13. P. Banda, 14. Nyoni, 15. Konga, 16. Kakhobwe, 18. Kajoke, 19. G. Chirwa, 20. Mkwate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :