POLOKWANE (ANA) – Hosts South Africa lost to Madagascar 4-3 on penalties in their Cosafa Cup quarterfinal clash at New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday.
The two teams had ended regulation play goalless.
South Africa dominated the chances in the match and should have been at least a couple of goals up by halftime, but were dragged into penalties by a Malagasy side that was organised and structured in their play.
Luther Singh took South Africa’s fifth penalty in the shoot-out, but his tame effort was easily saved by Madagascan goalkeeper Jean Dieu Randrianasolo and Tobisoa Sandratriniain stepped up to put the islanders into the semifinals.
The home side created an early opportunity when Singh played a clever free-kick low into the path of Lebogang Maboe, but the midfielder’s first-time shot went just wide of goal.
South Africa had an even better opportunity on 20 minutes, when Ryan Moon’s delightful ball over the top of the Madagascar defence set Singh free one-on-one with Randrianasolo, but he disappointingly shot straight at the gloveman.
It took 33 minutes for Madagascar to have their first effort on target, but Jaotombo Bourahim shot over from the edge of the box.
Maboe had another fantastic chance to score when beat the offside trap and found himself with only Randrianasolo to beat, but like Singh before him, shot straight at the keeper and it would end goalless at the break.
South Africa almost found the opener when Aubrey Modiba’s shot from the edge of the box had the beating of Randrianasolo, but not the crossbar and Mosiatlhaga was unable to get the rebound on target.
Despite their superiority in the world rankings with South Africa ranked 72 on the globe to Madagascar’s 114th, Bafana Bafana could not find a goal as the result was decided on penalties.
Monday will be a rest day in the competition, but South Africa will be back in action against Namibia in their plate semifinal at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday. The match kicks-off at 5pm.
Botswana will clash with Swaziland in the other plate semifinal that will kick-off at 7.30pm.- African News Agency (ANA)