Bafana Bafana clinched the Four Nations tournament held in Zambia on Saturday night after a 2-0 victory over the hosts, with goals from Percy Tau in the first half and Lebo Mothiba late in the second.
The South Africans, who travelled to this competition in Ndola to see how many of the country’s young talent were ready to don the national team jersey, progressed to the final following a 6-5 penalty shoot-out over Angola on Wednesday.
Bafana had equalised late through debutant Mothiba for the match to be tied at 1-1 in normal time, and were winners through spot-kicks to set up a final against Chipolopolo, who also beat Zimbabwe on penalties, having being held 2-2.
Stuart Baxter, the Bafana coach, gave an opportunity to as many players as possible in both games and would have been happy to achieve his objective – to learn and win the tournament.
The average age of the squad selected was 25, with goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune the oldest player at 30 and right back Reeve Frosler the youngest at 20.
Bafana’s line-up was completely different to the team sent out in their opener against Angola.
Khune started between the sticks, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Daniel Cardoso were the two central defenders, while Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Innocent Maela were the two fullbacks.
In midfield, Teboho Mokoena, Kamohelo Mokotjo and Siphesihle Ndlovu looked to impress and Keagan Dolly, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Tau led the attack.
89’ Goal! Mothiba finds the net after just coming onto the pitch! 🇿🇲 0-2 🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/LPOP14KepS
Tau broke the deadlock in the 15th minute after goalie Toaster Nsabata made an error in judgment when trying to collect a high ball, the Bafana striker pouncing and putting Baxter’s men in the lead.
They held on to the lead going into the halftime break and pretty much in the second half, although Khune had to come to their rescue on a few occasions.
Mothiba didn’t waste time making an impact when he came on off the bench to score Bafana’s second of the game and his second of the tournament, as the South African were crowned champions at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium.