Bafana Bafana players celebrate after scoring the winning goal during the 2023 Kozfa Cup match against Botswana at King Zwelitheni Stadium on July 8, 2023 in Durban, South Africa.
Photo by Rogan Ward/Gallow Images
- Bafana Bafana will aim to secure a semi-final qualification in the 2023 Cosafa Cup where they will face Eswatini.
- The match is of great importance and takes place at Princess Magogo Stadium on July 11th.
- Bafana tops Group A with four points after drawing with Namibia and beating Botswana.
The Bafana Bafana national team is close to qualifying for the 2023 Kosava Cup semi-finals.
Their next match against Eswatini in the final Group A match, which is scheduled to be played at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Tuesday evening 11 July, is of great importance.
Bafana are currently top of Group A with four points, following a 1-1 draw against Namibia last week and a 2-1 win over Botswana at the weekend.
The victory over Botswana showed South Africa’s resilience, as they bounced back after being left behind. Goals from Ikram Rainers and Sean Mqila turned things in their favour, taking full advantage of a miniature Botswana side with only ten men on the field.
“We have to win this victory to see ourselves in the semi-finals of the Kosava Cup,” Bafana coach Morena Ramoripoli said in the tournament before the match.
“I think it’s only fitting for me also to thank our fans who have been there for us, giving us a morale boost, and rallying behind the team.
“It will be important for us to get them behind the team for this next game (against Eswatini).”
Meanwhile, Bafana captain Lyle Lakai added: “Obviously it’s a must-play for us. The guys are ready because we watched the Eswatini game against Namibia. So we did our analysis.”
“We are 100 per cent confident that we will win and move on to the semi-finals. I would urge the fans to show up in their numbers and be the 12th man.”
Eswatini enters the level match with Botswana in second place, after collecting three points so far.
Despite suffering a narrow defeat against Botswana in their opening match, they bounced back strongly in the subsequent match against Namibia, emerging victorious through goals scored by Seveso Matse and Bongoa Matsebula.
Concomitantly, the Moses Mabhida Stadium will host the other Group A match between Namibia and Botswana. The outcome of this match is considered decisive, as only the group winners are guaranteed a place in the semifinals.
The runners-up will have to evaluate their record against their records in Group B and Group C to determine their qualification for the quarter-finals.
In terms of head-to-head encounters, South Africa and Eswatini have faced each other eight times since their first encounter in 2000. Bafana Bafana boast an impressive unbeaten record in this rivalry, with seven wins and one draw.
Their most recent encounter took place during the 2021 edition of the Kosva Cup, with South Africa emerging victorious with a narrow 1-0 win in a group stage match played in Port Elizabeth. Thabang Sibanione etched his name on the scoresheet with a decisive strike in the second half.
As Bafana Bafana and Eswatini prepare to clash again, the stakes are high, with South Africa eyeing a semi-final berth and Eswatini battling to secure their lead in the tournament.
Kick-off time is 18:00.