Gift Motupa of South Africa
Saturday Jul 15, 2017. 17:40
South Africa brushed aside Botswana 2-0 in the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier Southern Zone first-leg match at the Francistown on Saturday.
The two sides are scheduled to meet again the second-leg in Moruleng, South Africa next weekend and the winner on aggregate will face either Swaziland or Zambia in the third round.
Bafana Bafana started the match brightly and they were awarded a free-kick in a promising area just six minutes into the encounter.
Teboho Mokoena then stepped up and forced Botswana goalkeeper Mwampule Masule, who was well-positioned, into a comfortable save.
The Zebras then took control of the match pressing Bafana, but they were finding it difficult to penetrate the visitors’ defence.
The deadlock was broken two minutes before the half-hour mark after the Botswana defence was exposed and it was Ryan Moon, who scored for Bafana.
The striker beat his marker, before firing past Masule to make it 1-0 to South Africa and Moon became one of the few players, who have scored for Bafana on debut.
Botswana had to find a way to respond with a goal and in the 36th minute, Thero Setsile’s header narrowly missed South Africa keeper Boafela Pule’s goal-posts.
Pressure was mounting on the Bafana defence and Pule produced two good saves in the closing stages of the first-half and the score was 1-0 to South Africa at half-time.
David Bright, the Botswana coach, made two changes in the first 10 minutes of the second-half with Lemponye Tshireletso and Thabang Sesinyi coming on.
However, the Zebras struggled to penetrate the Bafana defence and Gift Motupa nearly doubled the visitors’ lead just after the hour-mark.
The midfielder-cum-striker turned well, before unleashing a shot which narrowly missed the target as the South Africans pressed the home side.
Motupa made amends in the 72nd minute when he scored to make it 2-0 to South Africa with Cole Alexander grabbing an assist with a great pass.
The momentum was with the visitors in the closing stages of the match and Bafana captain Mario Booysen’s header narrowly missed the target in the 79th minute.
Masule was called into action six minutes later and he made a good save to deny Motupa, who was looking for his second goal of the encounter.
South Africa held on to their lead in the dying minutes of the encounter and they ran out 2-0 winners over Botswana on the day.
SA (1) 2 (Moon 28′, Motupa 72′)
Botswana: Masule, Leinanyane, Kgaswane, Mathumo, Leririma, Gaolaolwe, Legwaila, Seakanyeng, Moyo (Sesinyi 51′), Setsile (Tshireletso 54′), Orebonye.
SA: Pule, Nhlapo, Malepe, Mvala, Booysen, Khumalo, Mokoena, Alexander, Norodien (Modise 81′, Ntshangase 88′), Motupa, Moon (Webber 65′).