South Africa shared the spoils with Mozambique in their COSAFA Cup opening match which ended 1-1 yesterday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha.

The 2021 COSAFA Cup winners started the match on a high note with Cape Town Spur’s Asanele Velebayi nearly finding the back of the net with a header that rebounded off the post in the third minute.

Bafana Bafana broke the deadlock in the 39th minute after Rushwin Dortley got on the end of a quality cross from Ethan Brooks but failed to protect their lead. The Mambas equalised in the 65th minute through Chamito Allfandega’s grass-cutter which secured the point for his side.  

Speaking after the match, Bafana coach Helman Mkhalele said he is proud of his side’s performance given the limited time that they had to prepare for the tournament.

“I’m proud of my team and the performance they gave, even though we did not get the result we aspired to achieve. During the first half we dominated, even though we created clear chances but could not take advantage of that situation,” he said.

The hosts are currently occupying the second spot in Group A on equal points with Mozambique who are at the helm of the group. They will clash with Botswana while the latter will battle Eswatini on the 29th.

Mozambique coach Victor Matine praised his player’s confidence and attitude in the match adding that he is happy with the results despite not bagging all three points.

“I am so happy because the players tried to do what we trained for, and we told them to have confidence in this game, and to respect South Africa. But you must be competitive, and we did it in the second half,” he said.

Written by Siphesihle Soni