COSAFA Bafana Bafana lacked confidence to finish off Botswana in draw – Mkhalele

South Africa coach Helman Mkhalele believes his charges should have done better than the final score suggests as they were in control for long periods of this encounter.

Bafana Bafana were held to another draw in the group stages of the COSAFA Cup after they shared the spoils with Botswana at Isaac Wolfson Stadium in Gqeberha on Saturday.

This Group A match ended in a 0-0 stalemate just days after the 1-1 draw against Mozambique in the opening match of the regional tournament. Mkhalele’s team had multiple chances to win the match, but just as they did against Mozambique, the home side was unable to make full use of the opportunities and find the breakthrough they needed against a solid Botswana.

“We were not in command of the ball, especially in the final third. We looked like we didn’t have the confidence. But again, we were not giving the early support or were unable to read the game to support Thabang Sibanyoni, who was dominating the aerial balls,” he said.

“We lacked that confidence. Yes, we did get those half chances, but we were not taking them or we were not approaching them with aggression. We were just more comfortable in dominating the possession in our own half. But we lacked the speed and the penetration to the middle.”

Botswana coach Didier da Rosa was very proud of his players, even though they could not find the back of the net. “It was a second draw (of the tournament after the 0-0 outcome against Eswatini), but at least we didn’t concede any goal. I’m proud of my players today because they followed the plan we worked on. It was very interesting for me as a coach to see these young players so disciplined.”

Mkhalele has a few days to regroup before his charges face Eswatini in the last match of Group A at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at 3pm on Tuesday.

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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