Botswana secured a 2-0 victory over Swaziland in the 2018 COSAFA Cup plate semi-final match at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa on Tuesday.
The win sees the Zebras advance to the plate final where they will take on South Africa, while Sihlangu Semnikati are eliminated from the regional tournament.
The Zebras saw most the ball in the early stages of the encounter and they managed the grab an early lead just eight minutes into the encounter.
Kabelo Seakanyeng combined very well with Onkabetse Makgantai, who then fired past Swaziland goalkeeper Sandanezwe Mathabela to make it 1-0 Botswana.
This was Makgantai’s fifth goal of the tournament having netted three in the group stage and one against Zimbabwe in the quarter-final tie.
The 21-year-old striker nearly grabbed his six goal of the tournament in the 35th minute, but this time Mathabela was alert and he pulled off a great save to deny Makgantai.
Seakanyeng had a chance to double Botswana’s lead from a free-kick, but his effort from the set-piece went just over the crossbar with Mathabela looking on.
Swaziland then took control of the match, but they were very wasteful as they could not beat Botswana goalkeeper Mwampule Masule, who was in good form.
The bulky shot-stopper, who is on the books of Botswana giants Township Rollers, produced good saves to deny Swaziland duo Lindo Mkhonta and Felix Badenhorst.
The score was 1-0 to Botswana at the interval following a lively first-half.
Sihlangu Semnikati dominated the early stages of the second half and they nearly leveled matters through their inspirational captain Tony Tsabedze.
The diminutive attacker, who plays for Swazi giants Mbabane Swallows, pulled the trigger from range and Masule produced a good save to deny the winger.
Barry Steenkamp, a striker by trade, was introduced by Sihlangu Semnikati, who were looking to restore parity with 28 minutes left on the clock.
Zweli Nxumalo found some space on the edge of the Botswana box and he unleashed a low shot which went inches wide of the target in the 70th minute.
Botswana reacted by introducing Gape Mohutsiwa, who is a defensive midfielder and they pulled out goalscorer Makgantai with five minutes left.
Swaziland did most of the attacking in the dying minutes of the game with Botswana happy to sit back and contain Sihlangu Semnikati.
However, Botswana were able to seal their 2-0 win over Swaziland in stoppage time when Mohutsiwa scored with a powerful header with Mathabela well-beaten.
Swaziland (0) 0
Botswana (1) 2 (Makgantai 8’, Mohutsiwa 90’+3)
Swaziland: Mathabela, Mkhweli, Badenhorst, B. Dlamini (Nhleko 45’), M. Dlamini (Steenkamp 62’), Nxumalo (Sibandze 73’), Dlamini, Ndlovu, Tsabedze, Palma, Mkhonta.
Botswana: Masule, Kebue, Maikano, Ramoraka, Keredilwe, Sosome, Modingwane, Phiri, Seakanyeng, Kgamanyane (Orebonye 81’), Makgantai (Mohutsiwa 75’).