South Africa beat Senegal 5-4 on penalties (0-0 after extra-time) to win the 2021 Cosafa Cup tournament at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on Sunday.
Captain Veli Mothwa emerged as the hero on the day to lead Bafana Bafana to their first Cosafa Cup title since 2016 and fifth overall.
South Africa had not conceded a single goal throughout the course of the tournament but were in danger of suffering defeat in the shootout after Ethan Brooks had his attempt saved by Lions of Teranga shot-stopper Pape Ndiaye, following four successful kicks.
Mothwa denied Dominique Mendy to get the hosts back into it before scoring himself. Mohammed Ba then converted to take the shootout into sudden death before Nyiko Mobbie held his nerve to convert from the spot.
This put all the pressure back on Senegal and it proved too much for Ndiaye to handle as he blazed his resulting attempt over the crossbar to hand South Africa the trophy.
Chances were few and far between in regulation time with the best effort for either side coming from a set-piece.
Ba came closest for the West Africans in the 41st minute. The towering forward lost his marker at a corner-kick before directing a header attempt on target, but Mobbie was perfectly positioned to clear the ball off the line.
South Africa’s best chance fell to Njabulo Ngcobo in the 71st minute. The ball fell favourably for the centre-back in the penalty area following a free-kick, but he could only succeed in directing a tame effort into the grateful arms of Ndiaye.
Bafana Bafana dominated possession in extra-time with Senegal seemingly happy to have the game decided on penalties following their shootout success over Eswatini in the semifinals, but it would be South Africa to emerge victorious in the end.
South Africa (0) 0
Senegal (0) 0
South Africa won 5-4 on penalties.
South Africa: Mothwa; Ngobeni, De Reuck, Ngcobo, Dube, Mobbie, Sithebe, Maart (Brooks 79′), Mkhulise (Maboe 79′), Saleng (Malinga 100′), Letsoalo (Sibanyoni 73′).
Senegal: Ndiaye; Fall, Kane, Gningue, Sane, Kante, Mendy, Diene, Diop (Mbaye 79′), Djitte, Ba.
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