Giants bite the dust at COSAFA Cup 2015
by TINTSWALO BALOYI
RUSTENBURG, (CAJ News) – FOLLOWING a tournament that has been dominated by giant-killing acts culminating in both the host nation and the defending champions bowing out, guest nation Ghana will be wary of being the latest big gun to crash out of an exhilarating Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Cup.
The side from West Africa, which has brought a strong squad of home-based players to the tournament in South Africa, has a quarterfinal date against Madagascar at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Monday evening.
Kickoff is 1700 local time (1500 GMT).
The quarterfinal clash comes after a day of upsets that saw Botswana and Namibia secure semifinal berths at the Moruleng Stadium.
Namibia, who had earlier dismissed ex-champions Zimbabwe in the group stages, continued their giant-slaying form, ousting defending champions Zambia in a penalty shoot-out, while Botswana disposed of hosts South Africa in a similar manner.
There were no goals over the two games but plenty of action, with each decided on penalties.
The Copper Bullets of Zambia, playing their first game of the competition, took on Group A winners Namibia and despite dominating, could not secure a goal.
South African-based Brave Warriors goalkeeper, Virgil Vries, was the hero for his side making a number of fine saves.
Namibia then held their nerve in the shoot-out to claim a famous 5-4 win on penalties.
South Africa also had the majority of the possession in their tie against the dashing Zebras of Botswana but were as usual, clueless in front of goal.
Bafana Bafana would be made to rue the wastefulness as Botswana always looked the more confident team in the shoot-out and were eventual 7-6 winners on the night.
Meanwhile, the fourth quarterfinal will feature Mozambique and Malawi in another intriguing tie between two sides who may feel they are dark horses for the title.
That game between the Mambas and the Flames, as the neighbouring duo is nicknamed respectively, is also scheduled for the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace.
Kickoff is at 19h30 local time.
– CAJ News
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