COSAFA COSAFA CUP: Wasteful Eswatini Share Spoils With Botswana

The 2024 COSAFA Cup got underway on Wednesday with Eswatini and Botswana as both teams settled for a 0-0 in the opening Group A game at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Eswatini arrived at the start of the COSAFA Cup with concerns after playing its fourth game of the World Cup qualifiers against Mauritius, where it lost by a score of two goals to one.

Botswana on the other hand were in good spirits after their last result hoping to begin the tournament with three points.

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Botswana got the early start as Olebogeng Ramotse freekick in just two minutes of play was saved by Eswatini goalkeeper Xolani Gama who sent the ball out into corner kick.

Five minutes later, the Botswana defense was caught sleeping as Tebogo Kopelang tried to close the space to an opponent who was fighting for a ball, but goalkeeper Victor James had to act to prevent the ball from going through.

Again, Victor James was called to action in the 14th minute as he dealt with to a shot from half distance as Eswatini took control of the game

Eswatini came close with a shot from Ayanda Gadlela that was deflected off an opponent and passed in the 20th minute before Simanga Masangane header went just wide of the right post.

Eswatini captain,Kwakhe Thwala fluffed a begging chance in the 33rd minute after he was left alone in front of the box but the bravery of Victor James kept the scoreline goalless heading to the break

The second half resumed as Eswatini held on to possession looking to break the deadlock as Kwakhe kept on terrorising the Botswana defence while James kept on denying him.

Eswatini will have themselves to blame for not taking their chances while Botswana goalkeeper was the hero of the game.

The COSAFA Cup is played every year among the teams that are part of the Council of Southern African Football Associations.

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