Bafana Bafana failed to progress to the semi-finals of the Cosafa Cup after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tanzania at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Sunday night.
The result means the defending champions will be demoted to the Cosafa Plate semi-finals, were they’ll hope to produce the desired result to see them through the final.
After scoring an opener just 18 minutes into the game, Tanzania opted to play the patient game, adding numbers in their defence while waiting to catch their opponents on a counter in the search for a second.
That strategy implemented by the Tanzanian side proved to be more frustrating for Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter, who’s renowned for implementing that style of play.
Baxter’s battled with their passing game, especially in the final third. They were often forced to hoof the ball forward in an attempt to reach Judas Moseamedi as their last man upfront.
But each time they did that, the opposition’s defence was well positioned to close down the Cape Town City striker.
Moseamedi was given less room to take those deadly shots he’s well known for.
Tanzania’s goal came through their striker Elias Maguri, who struck a powerful shot inside the 18-yard area to beat SuperSport United’s third-choice goalkeeper Boafela Pule between the sticks.
And that’s because Baxter’s line-up was made up of eight debutants who were roped in to be given senior nation team experience.
The likes of Lebogang Phiri and Mandla Masango were not released by their clubs to play in this competition.
In the second period, South Africa huffed and puffed, but couldn’t break their opposition wall down in the final third. One of the clear chances they had in the 67th minute saw Webber whipping in a cross in search of the on-rushing Cole Alexander inside the box.
The attacking midfielder, however, failed to connect with his back heel.