Botswana And Eswatini Claim Wins, Qualify For Cosafa Cup Quarters.. Botswana Goalkeeper Goitseone Phoko stepped up as all retreated and converted an important 69th minute penalty to give his side the lead.
The Gaborone United shot stopper remained calm as he slotted past his opposite number Adilson Capriano in Angola’s goal and scored the Zebra’s third goal of the competition.
Botswana’s triumph means they leapfrogged their opponents and set up a crunching quarterfinals clash against Zambia on Tuesday.
The Zebras of Botswana lined up against Angola knowing that nothing short of a victory would secure their place in the quarter finals, starting the match off level on points with their opponents but second on goal difference.
Angola Head Coach Pedro Concalves recalled the dynamic duo of Vanilson Zeu and Pedro Miguel back into the starting line-up following their explosive cameos off the bench against the Seychelles.
It was a frustrating opening half for Botswana as they were starved of possession and often resorted to aggressive play and getting booked.
Palancas Negras certainly showed why they were deemed favourites ahead of this encounter, dominating possession and creating the better of the chances, the best of them coming in the opening 10 minutes.
Vanilson broke through the left flank with two of his teammates alongside him and had the number game on their side as Botswana retreated with two defenders, however a delay in passing and poor decision making dragged striker Miguel Diogo and he had his shot blocked by the goalkeeper.
The patterns of play and no clear momentum shift in the second half suggested the encounter would unlikely be won off dominance but rather a scrappy fight as both teams never got a handle of the game.
While in the 5pm kick off involving Eswatini and Lesotho, the match came to life when Sandile Gamedze capitalised on a goalkeeping error to break the deadlock for Eswatini in the 14th minute.
Gamedze, who was starting his first game of the tournament, tapped into an open goal after Lesotho goalminder Sekhoane Moerane flapped at a cross and the ball fell into the feet.
And four minutes later, it was Gamedze again, this time providing the assist for on form striker Sabelo Ndzinisa in the 18th minute.
Ndzinisa was delightfully put through on goal and converted comfortably with just the goalkeeper to beat and also notched up his third goal of the tournament placing him at the top of the goalscoring charts.
Eswatini did well enough in the first half to adjust and defend a decent lead in second half, which they did with distinction as the their centre pairing of Peter Dlamini and Sihlangu Mkhwanazi withstood all the pressure and held out for a victory.
Dominic Kunene’s Eswatini climbed above Lesotho in group B and qualified for the quarter finals where they’ll clash against last year’s finalists Senegal.