COSAFA Beach Soccer: South Africa defeat Seychelles in a five-goal thriller

South Africa kept their trophy hopes alive, during the fourth edition of the COSAFA Beach Soccer Championships. The spectacle got underway at Durban’s South Beach Arena on Sunday, as eight nations will go toe to toe on the sand in the hope of being crowned regional champions.

The host nation fell to Malawi on opening day, with their counterparts looking to better their best ever finish (as runners up back in the 2015 edition of the spectacle). Malawi’s Isaac Kajam scored twice for them to go with goals from Dala Dala and Sandram Ussi, though the latter would go on to gift Beach Bafana an own goal. South Africa’s other strike came from Phiwokuhle Gumede in that one. 

South Africa were left in a perilous position thereafter and needed to win their clash with Seychelles to avoid humiliation. Fani Shange’s men conceded a goal during the first period, before finding form in the second stanza. South Africa’s Siyabonga Mkhize was awarded the Player of the Match for his contributions and curled in from just over the halfway line to send the crowd into ruptures. 

The Seychellois would go on to put up a fight, with the game locked in a stalemate. There was to be a winner as Abongile ‘TIDO’ Gcuda found the back of the net with a dramatic strike to hand South Africa the victory and a massive three points in Group A at the COSAFA Beach Soccer tournament.

The hosts will clash with Saudi Arabia on 20 March at 14:30 in their last group stages match which will determine who will move into the knockout rounds.

Written by Desh Parthab