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COSAFA Cup: South Africa claim fifth title

South Africa celebrates after winning the COSAFA Cup title

Hosts South Africa claimed their fifth COSAFA Cup title in a hard-fought encounter against guest nation Senegal on Sunday, 18 July.

The final, which was played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the Eastern Cape, had to be decided in a penalty shootout after the sides were unable to find the back of the net in regulation time, as well as the 30 minutes of extra-time they were given. It was an interesting penalty shootout which saw players calmy converting their spot kicks, but it was the hosts who held their nerve to register a 5-4 victory in front of an empty stadium, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Senegal goalkeeper Pape Ndiaye missed his penalty kick to hand South Africa, who drew level with Zambia with five COSAFA Cup titles. Zimbabwe hold the record of the most titles, having claimed six of them.

South Africa, who had not won the competition since 2016, made the most of playing at home as they finished the competition without conceding a single goal. The South African technical team decided to give opportunities to players who don’t regularly get national team call-ups and they made the most of it.

It was an evenly contested affair with both sides trying to score, but they were unable to find the back of the net.

Like South Africa, guest nation Senegal gave an opportunity to young players to raise their hands for future

Eswatini, meanwhile, finished third in the tournament after beating Mozambique in the third-place play-off on Sunday. Eswatini was given the fair play award of the tournament.

South African captain Veli Mothwa was named goalkeeper of the tournament. Victor Letsoalo of South Africa won the golden boot award after scoring four goals. Siyethemba Sithebe, the midfielder of the host nation, was named player of the tournament.

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