Hosts South Africa will take on Namibia in the plate final of the Cosafa Castle Cup after both won their semifinal matches at the Moruleng Stadium on Tuesday.
A much changed South Africa side went some way to made up for the disappointment of their quarter-final exit at the hands of Tanzania on Sunday by beating Botswana 2-0 with goals from Riyaad Norodien and Judas Moseamedi.
Roger Katjiteo scored for Namibia to decide their game against Swaziland and stay alive in the tournament and go on to Friday’s plate final.
Both Botswana and Swaziland exit the tournament after two successive defeats.
South Africa made eight changes and fielded another experimental side but will be pleased with the performance of several new youngsters as they overcame an early onslaught and a robust approach from their neighbours.
A stunning shot from well outside the penalty area from Norodien finished off an enterprising set of passes in the 33rd minute to give Bafana Bafana the lead.
Botswana lived on a diet of set pieces but were held out while South Africa looked for chances on the counter attack, with the second goal finally arriving two minutes into stoppage time as Moseamedi finished off from close range after man-of-the-match Lebohang Maboe’s clever cross.
South Africa’s debutant goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma made a stunning save from a rocket-like shot from centre back Simsani Mathumo midway through the second half to keep the home side’s goal intact.
Namibia and Swaziland played out an error-ridden first half before the 2015 winners took the lead through Katjiteo in the 57th minute after being set up by Itamunua Keimuine.
Deon Hotto’s skills on the left wing kept the Swazi defenders busy and almost set up a second soon after for Katjiteo, whose header crashed against the crossbar.
Off target shooting from the Swazis cost them any chance of getting back in the contest.
On Wednesday, Zambia play guests Tanzania (5pm kick off) and Zimbabwe are up against Lesotho (7.30pm kick off) in the Cosafa Castle Cup semifinals.
South Africa and Namibia meet each other in the plate final at 5pm on Friday at the Moruleng Stadium, followed by the tournament’s bronze medal match.