Thursday Jun 23, 2016. 11:43
Swaziland national team coach Harries Bulunga says the red card was to blame for their humiliation against South Africa on Wednesday evening.
Isihlangu Semnikati lost their 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup semifinal 5-1 to Bafana Bafana at Sam Nujoma Stadium.
A red card for defender Siyabonga Mdluli ignited a South African comeback, after Swazi skipper Tony Tsabedze netted the opener on the day.
A brace from Menzi Masuku and further goals from Judas Moseamedi, Lebogang Phiri and Thabiso Kutumela ensured Shakes Mashaba's side reached the final against Botswana on Saturday.
Speaking after the match and quoted by the Times of Swaziland, coach Bulunga said the loss has left him a devastated man.
"We lost at such a crucial stage of the tournament, and that is why I am devastated," said Bulunga.
“We were so close, but we will have to take our lessons and move on.
SOUTH AFRICA CRUISE INTO COSAFA CUP FINAL
“My players just lost hope after the conceding the second goal, and literally failed to fight.
“We conceded most of the goals, thereafter, as a result of failure to apply ourselves.
"We had also played many games before this one and there were elements of fatigue that crept in, we are a small country in Swaziland and we do not have a large pool of players to choose from.
"In fact, we have about 700 players from both the Premier League and National First Division league to select players.
"This team has done well for us and we can’t then change now after losing one match."
Isihlangu will now face off against the Democratic Republic of Congo in the third-place play off on Saturday.