Mashaba eager to reach Cosafa Cup final

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba (Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba (Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

The semi-final clash between Bafana Bafana and Swaziland in the Cosafa Castle Cup will be a battle between master and student.

South Africa’s coach Shakes Mashaba will come up against his protégé Harris Bulunga who leads iSihlangu.

The clash takes place on Wednesday, at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Namibia. Kickoff is 6pm SA time.

This is the second match of the tournament for Bafana and Mashaba has retained the majority of the squad that beat Lesotho 4-2 on penalties on Saturday to book their place in the last four.

The Bafana mentor says Swaziland cannot be taken lightly as they reached the semi-finals after beating Zambia 4-2 on penalties on Sunday.

“The first match of a tournament is always the hardest. Players are sometimes too eager to play and therefore rush things, and at times the combinations are not perfect,” said Mashaba.

“We went past our first and biggest hurdle with the victory over Lesotho, and we believe that the boys will play the football we know against Swaziland. We know that iSihlangu will come at us and we are expecting it, but we have set ourselves a target so we need to ensure that we reach it.”

Meanwhile, the Bafana mentor has made three changes to the squad that played against Lesotho.

Reyaad Pieterse retains his place in goals.

Tercious Malepe will earn his first Bafana cap when he partners captain Rivaldo Coetzee in the heart of the defence – Malepe takes the place of Tshepo Rikhotso. The rest of the rearguard will be filled in by Thembele Sikhakhane at right back and Tebogo Moerane at leftback.

In the middle of the park Deolin Mekoa, who replaces Thembinkosi Lorch, gets a start and will play alongside Abbubaker Mobara, Aubrey Modiba and Lebogang Phiri.

Striker Gift Motupa will not feature in the match because he is serving a suspension – his place will be taken by Thabiso Kutumela. Judas Moseamedi will be the other striker.

South Africa starting XI: Reyaad Pietere (GK), Tebogo Moerane, Thembele Sikhakhane; Rivaldo Coetzee (c), Tercious Malepe, Abbubaker Mobara, Deolin Mekoa; Lebogang Phiri; Aubrey Modiba, Judas Moseomedi, Thabiso Kutumela.
Substitutes: Jody February (GK), Nkosingiphile Gumede (GK), Tshepo Rikhotso; Siphesihle Stuurman, Menzi Masuku, Thembinkosi Lorch

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