Check out South Africa's history in football

Check out South Africa's history in football
Lebohang Maboe of South Africa celebrates goal with teammates during the 2018 COSAFA plate semifinals match between Namibia and South Africa at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane on 05 June 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Thursday May 16, 2019. 14:31

With the COSAFA Cup fast approaching we take a look at South Africa's history in football and in the upcoming tournament.

Established: 1991

Affiliated to FIFA: 1992

Affiliated to CAF: 1992

Honours: 1996 African Nations Cup winners; 1997 Afro-Asian Nations Cup winners; 2002, 2007, 2008, 2016 COSAFA Cup winners

Biggest win: South Africa 6-0 Seychelles (13 October 2018)

Biggest defeat: South Africa 0-5 Brazil (5 March 2014)

Biggest win in COSAFA Cup: South Africa 5-1 Swaziland (22 June 2016)

Biggest defeat in COSAFA Cup: Mauritius 2-0 South Africa (10 January 2004)

Leading scorer in the COSAFA Cup: Pollen Ndlanya, Patrick Mayo, Katlego Mphela, Teko Modise, Gift Motupa, Lebohang Maboe 3 goals

History summary: South Africa are one of only two COSAFA member countries to have won the African Nations Cup title, doing so on home soil at their first attempt in 1996. Zambia joined them with their 2012 success.

South Africa reached the final of COSAFA Cup for the first time in 2002, winning the trophy with a 4-1 aggregate triumph over Malawi in the two-legged final. After more barren years, they claimed the back-to-back tournaments, beating old foes Zambia on penalties in the final in 2007, and running out victorious in 2008, despite fielding an unofficial ‘President’s XI’ line-up that included players mostly from the second tier of South African football.

They repeated that squad mix in Zimbabwe in 2009, but ended up finishing fourth after losing to Mozambique in the third-place playoff. They went one better with a third-place finish in Zambia in 2013, but were disappointing ousted by Botswana in the quarterfinals on home soil in 2015 and then lost in the Plate semifinals to Malawi.

They regained the title in Namibia in 2016, beating Botswana 3-2 in a thrilling final in Windhoek with a squad made up largely of players that would compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The last two tournaments have seen them win the Plate competition after quarterfinal exits in the Cup bracket. They beat Namibia to the Plate in 2017 and Botswana to the trophy in 2018.


1997 – Did not enter

1998 – First round

1999 – Quarterfinals

2000 – Semifinals

2001 – Quarterfinals

2002 – Winners

2003 – Quarterfinals

2004 – First round

2005 – Semifinals

2006 – First round

2007 – Winners

2008 – Winners

2009 – Semifinals

2013 – Semifinals

2015 – Quarterfinals

2016 – Winners

2017 – Quarterfinals (Plate winners)

2018 – Quarterfinals (Plate winners)



Home 21 12 6 3 27 8

Away 23 12 7 4 34 17

Total 44 24 13 7 61 25

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