Heartbreak for Makoanyane XI

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Moorosi Tsiane

TWO first half goals from Lyle Foster and Kamogelo Sambo enabled South Africa to shatter Makoanyane XI’s dreams of winning their first-ever under-20 COSAFA Cup as the latter lost 1-2 in yesterday’s final played at Arthur Davies Stadium in Kitwe, Zambia.

Makoanyane XI got the consolation goal from second half substitute, Rethabile Mokokoane.

The Leslie Notši-coached outfit booked their final berth by outgunning Uganda 6-5 in the semifinal penalty shootout while Amajita beat Egypt 2-1 in the other semifinal.

It took Foster five minutes to break the deadlock with a simple tap in after he received the ball unmarked in the six-yard area.

Makoanyane suffered a big blow six minutes later when goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane suffered a thigh injury which caused him to be replaced by Kopano Silas.

South Africa continued to dominate proceedings and they extended their lead on 40th minutes.,

The backline was caught napping and Silas initially produced a good save but the rebound fell at the feet of an Amajita forward who made no mistake.

Lesotho could have halved the deficit but Bonang Mohapi was unfortunate to see his well-taken set piece miss the target by a few inches on 44th minutes.

Makoanyane made their second forced substitute with Mokokoane coming in for the injured Tanki Seoli on 52 minutes.

Mokokoane found the back of the net with his first touch from a set piece not far from half way line in the 53rd minute.

The left footed utility player changed the game for Makoanyane and their confidence improved as they started to see more of the ball.

South Africa did not sit back as they pushed for another goal but found the Lesotho defence unyielding.

Their first substitute came in 64th minute when Foster making way for Sibiya.

Notši brought on fresh legs in the 66th minute in the form of Thaane Mokhehli who came in for the visibly tired Bonang.

Mokoteli Mohapi came close off a Mokhehle back pass but the former shot when unmarked inside the penalty area in the 75th minute.

In the post-match interview with Kwese Free Sport, Notši praised his charges for reaching the finals and playing well against a very good South African side.

“It was a tough encounter but I am happy with how we played especially in the second half,” Notši said.

“We came here as underdogs and nobody gave us a chance but were managed to reach the final. This was also a good tournament where we got to weigh our strengths against some good nations. There is still a lot of work to do though and we are going to sit down and map the way forward.”

Goalkeeper Monaheng Ramalefane walked away with the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award which carried US$500 prize money and a trophy.

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