South Africa vs Eswatini COSAFA Cup LIVE Football Score 8 Jul 2021
ABOUT THE MATCH
South Africa is going head to head with Eswatini starting on 8 Jul 2021 at 13:00 UTC at First National Bank Stadium stadium, Johannesburg city, South Africa. The match is a part of the COSAFA Cup, Group A.
South Africa and Eswatini square off in COSAFA Cup action on Thursday, having both won their opening group game last time out. Host nation South Africa kicked off their campaign with a 1-0 win over Botswana, while their opponents defeated Lesotho 3-1 to go top of the group after the first game
South Africa came into the tournament looking to lift the COSAFA Cup trophy for the fifth time, with added pressure considering they are the regular hosts of the competition.
That may not be entirely warranted though, considering Bafana Bafana recently failed to qualify for the upcoming African Cup of Nations, as they fell two points short of the top two in their group and subsequent qualification, despite recording three consecutive victories to move into pole position.
However, Hugo Broos’s side did get off to a winning start in the COSAFA Cup, defeating Botswana 1-0 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The game remained goalless for over an hour as both sides failed to take chances, but Kagiso Malinga eventually broke the deadlock in the 67th minute to fire his nation to an important win.
That victory has put South Africa in a strong position from the beginning of the group stage, while another win on Thursday would see them move clear at the summit with six points, giving them an even stronger chance of progressing to the knockout stage.
Their opponents will have the same thing in mind, as a win for either side would be crucial in the race for spots in the semi-finals. Eswatini currently sit at the top of the group after a 3-1 victory over Lesotho to kick off the group campaign.
They played with a man advantage for the majority of the game after Jane Thaba-Ntso was sent off in the seventh minute, but Felix Badenhorst’s opener for Eswatini was quickly cancelled out by a Tumelo Khutlang equaliser on the stroke of half time.
Although Lesotho looked resilient while battling against the odds, Dominic Kunene’s men would eventually break them down and retake the lead through Khethokuhle Mkhontfo on the hour mark, before Fanelo Mamba added a third in the 78th minute to secure the victory.
With two nations progressing from the five-team group to the semi-finals, a win over one of the pre-tournament favourites would see the Sihlangu Semnikati take a huge step towards defying the odds by reaching the final four.
The South Africa squad was recently hit by several coronavirus cases, with goalkeeper Lucky Shiburi isolating alongside several other squad members and staff.
That left them with a limited squad for the opening group game, with just four men on the bench. One of those players was Kagiso Malinga, who will hope for a starting spot after scoring the winner last time out.
Felix Badenhorst will again be a key man in the Eswatini attack, having opened the scoring in the win over Lesotho. Fanelo Mamba will also keep his place on the right-hand side, after he secured the three points with their third goal in that victory.
Sihlangu Mkhwanazi and Siboniso Mamba looked solid at the heart of the back four last time out, and they should continue to partner up on Sunday.
South Africa possible starting lineup:
Mothwa; Sibanyoni, De Reuck, Mobbie; Mphahlele, Brooks, Sithebe, Saleng; Phohlongo, Malinga, Mkhulose
Eswatini possible starting lineup:
Dlamini; Mkhonta, S Mamba, Mkhwanazi, Magagula; Mkhontfo, Mabelesa; Figuaredo, Badenhorst, F Mamba; Ndzinisa