Mashaba makes two changes for Cosafa Cup final

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba. (Photo by Duif du Toit/Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has made two changes for the Cosafa Castle Cup final clash against Botswana which will be played on Saturday, at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Namibia.

Reyaad Pieterse has recovered from injury and returns to goals after he was substituted in the semi-final clash against Swaziland, which Bafana Bafana won 5-1.

The back four has a slightly different look about it. Tercious Malepe retains his place after an impressive debut against Sihlangu, and will play alongside captain Rivaldo Coetzee in central defence. Tebogo Moerane will start at left back, while Abbubaker Mobara has been moved from midfield to right back to take the place of Thembela Sikhakhane.

Menzi Masuku, who scored a brace from the bench in the last match, gets his first start of the tournament. Deolin Mekoa, Aubrey Modiba and Lebogang Phiri complete the midfield.

Striker Gift Motupa makes a return to the team after serving his one-match suspension and will be partnered by Judas Moseamedi. Motupa takes the place of Thabiso Kutumela.

Mashaba is excited at the prospect of lifting the COSAFA Castle Cup trophy and ruling the region again. Bafana Bafana have won the COSAFA Cup on three occasions – 2002, 2007 and 2008, but he won’t take Botswana lightly.

“The Zebras of Botswana are a great team and we will give them the respect they deserve. We have watched all their matches during the tournament and know their strengths. We are looking to build from our last match where we managed to score five goals, however; we do not want to concede an early goal like we did in our first two matches as it might prove dangerous for us. We have managed to get away with it on two occasions, and we might not be lucky this time. So we have to be certain that we do not let them in,” said Mashaba.

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

Kickoff is at 6.30pm South African time.

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