Goalkeeper Veli Mothwa proved the shoot-out hero as South Africa claimed a fifth COSAFA Cup title with a 5-4 victory on penalties against Senegal following a 0-0 draw in the 2021 final in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday.
Mothwa saved from Dominique Mendy and then watched as opposite number Pape Ndiaye blasted over the bar as South Africa won back the title they last held in 2016.
The teams had to settle for a 0-0 draw in a game of few opportunities, though the home side had the better of them, especially late on in extra-time, with Kagiso Malinga blasting wide and Sifiso Ngobeni with a poor first touch when he had just the goalkeeper to beat.
It was the first time the COSAFA Cup final has been decided on penalties since South Africa lifted the trophy in 2007, defeating Zambia via spot-kicks in the decider.
Eswatini picked up the bronze medal with a nail-biting 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory over Mozambique following a 1-1 draw.
The Mambas took the lead in the first half through Martinho Thauzene, Khetokhule Mkhontfo equalised for Eswatini just a minute from time to send the game to penalties.
Salas Malico and Adamo Alifa missed from 12-yards for Mozambique and that allowed Eswatini to pick up their first medal in the competition since they also won bronze in 2016.
The Player of the Tournament was named as South Africa’s Siyethemba Sithebe, the experienced AmaZulu midfielder, while the Golden Boot went to South Africa’s Victor Letsoalo.
Another Bafana Bafana player, Veli Mothwa, was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament after he went five games without conceding a goal. The individuals all won R20,000. Eswatini won the Fair Play award
Meanwhile, South Africa will receive R500,000 in prize-money for their win, while Senegal earn R250,000. Eswatini picked up R150,000 for winning the bronze medal and Mozambique go home with R100,000.
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