Lebo Mothiba scored on his Bafana Bafana debut to help the national team come from a goal down during their 1-1 stalemate – in normal time – against Angola on Wednesday in the opening match of the Four Nations tournament at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, Zambia.
The match was then decided on penalties, where South Africa clinched the tie 7-6 following a drawn-out shootout.
Sibusiso Vilakazi scored the winning spot-kick after goalkeeper Darren Keet managed to keep out one of Angola’s attempts.
French-based striker Mothiba – who is part of a young team competing what was a hastily-arranged trip to Ndola alongside Wednesday’s opponents Angola, hosts Zambia and Zimbabwe – had managed to score the equaliser soon after the halftime break.
Bafana, who boast a youthful team with a blend of experienced players in coach Stuart Baxter’s 25-man squad, conceded just half-an-hour into the match when a defensive error by Buhle Mkhwanazi gave Djalma Campos the advantage to grab the opener.
Mothiba then equalised five minutes after the break with a back-heel after Bafana put pressure on their opponents.
Bafana Bafana are through to finals of the four nations tournament after edging Angola 7-6 on penalties. The game ended 1-1 in regulation time. pic.twitter.com/mgYhvkPFfF
The intention of the tournament being to develop players and give the rookies a run and some international experience, Baxter then made several changes to the original line-up, probably losing the shape in an effort to make sure everyone on the trip gets an opportunity to impress ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in September.
Darren Keet started in goal, with Mkhwanazi and Motjeka Madisha forming the central defence partnership.
Reeve Frosler and Sifiso Hlanti played at right and left fullback respectively.
In midfield, Dean Furman, Bongani Zungu and Aubrey Modiba got the nod, while Themba Zwane and Phakamani Mahlambi supported Mothiba in attack.
Bafana will play the winner between hosts Zambia and Zimbabwe on Saturday.