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Baxter’s gamble backfires

SNEAKING AWAY… Madagascar’s Marcio Ravelomanantsoa seems to get the better of Bafana Bafana duo of Siphesihle Ndlovu and Aubrey Modiba during their 2018 COSAFA Cup quarter finals match at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on Sunday (03 June)                                                                                                  Pic: COSAFA

Stuart Baxter’s strategy of leaving out experienced players for the Bafana Bafana COSAFA Cup squad backfired terribly on him when his team of rookies tumbled out of the tournament in Polokwane’s Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday.

Madagascar progressed to the semi-final stage at the expense of the hosts who last won the regional tourney in 2016. After a goalless 90minutes, the game was then determined through the “lottery” where the lack of experience in Baxter’s side became telling. While much of the blame is being levelled against 20-year old Luther Singh’s tame spot kick which was easily saved by Madagascar’s goalkeeper, Jean Dieu Randrianasolo, the whole team should take the blame for failing to win the match against the football minnows in regulation time.

Meanwhile, defending COSAFA Cup champions, Zimbabwe are through to the semis after dispatching a spirited Botswana side 3-1 on penalties after the match ended in a 1-all stalemate. Polokwane City keeper, George Chigova, was the hero of his country with three saves against the Stallions of Botswana.

Zimbabwe will meet Lesotho while Zambia faces off against Madagascar in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

South Africa squares off against Namibia while Botswana locks horns with Swaziland in the Plate semis on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Botswana’s Onkabetse Makgantai leads the goal scoring charts with 4 goals from four matches with Luis Miquissone of Mozambique and another Stallion player, Kabelo Seakanyeng second with 3 goals each.  Joatombo Bourahim of Madagascar and Mozambique’s Jeitoso have 2 goals to their names each.

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