South Africa claimed the COSAFA Cup Plate competition for the third year in a row with a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over Malawi after the teams had played to a frustrating 0-0 draw in the final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday.
It was a damning statistic that South Africa had 17 shots at goal in the 120 minutes, but only one on target, as they sprayed their efforts high and wide in hat was a poor display in front of goal.
But, playing their third shoot-out in three games at the regional competition, they had goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto to thank as he saved from Malawi skipper John Banda and then watched as two of The Flames missed the target.
It is some consolation for the side, but more importantly in was minutes in the middle for the players as coach David Notoane builds for the African Under-23 Championship qualifier against Zimbabwe in September, though he will be lining them up for shooting practice.
Notoane made several changes to his line-up, including the return of captain Tercious Malepe, Liam Jordan and Grant Margeman, while influential midfielder Teboho Mokoena dropped the bench.
There was little in the way of clear-cut chances in the opening half as home goalkeeper Mondli Mpoto saved from Gerald Phiri Jnr’s free-kick and new Baroka FC signing Richard Mbulu narrowly failed to get onto the end of Gabadinho Mhango’s cross.
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