Photo Credit: COSAFA Media
2023 COSAFA Cup hosts South Africa confirmed a third place finish on Sunday with a 5-3 penalty shootout victory over Malawi after the teams played to a scoreless draw over ninety minutes. Rowan Human completed a perfect set of penalty kicks for Bafana Bafana’s victory after defeat to Zambia in the semifinals. For Malawi the defeat marks a disappointing end to a strong campaign that saw the Flames make it through the group stage with a perfect record.
There were numerous opportunities for both teams despite the score and it was a surprise that regular time ended scoreless. Malawi threatened more in the first half to keep Bafana goalkeeper Olwethu Mzimela busy and the AmaZulu shot stopper had to be at his best to save a curling free kick from Patrick Mwaungulu soon before halftime.
Mzimela did well to produce another reaction save in the 53rd minute from Chimwemwe Idana and the hosts responded by causing more trouble for the Malawian defense. South Africa’s best chance arrived soon after but after a cross from the right flank found a wide open Iqraam Rayners, the forward could only direct his effort off the post.
Penalty kicks were needed to determine a winner after ninety minutes of scoreless football and South Africa kept their nerve. All five spot kicks from Bafana went in and when Christopher Kumwembe rattled the crossbar with Malawi’s fourth attempt, Human stepped up to win it for South Africa when his kick beat Malawi keeper Brighton Munthali.
Video of the penalty kick shootout is below from COSAFA TV.