U23s celebrate title. CREDIT: Sourced

BAFANA Bafana’s U23s will go to the Olympics as Cosafa champions.

Shakes Mashaba’s side showed their will to win by coming from behind to beat Botswana 3-2 in the final in Windhoek on Saturday.

It was the third time in the tournament that the players had to dig deep and fight from losing positions to prove themselves the best in Southern Africa.

And Bra Shakes hailed his team’s resilience.

He says: “Congratulations to my boys, they showed character, I mean in the whole tournament since we started we always came from behind and that shows the character is there.

“It was a good game and I think the spectators must have enjoyed this game.

“The only think that we didn’t want to happen was a penalty shootout, I mean all two games up to this far were on penalties.”


Bafana fell behind to a Onkabetse Makgantai stunner in the 16th minute, but fought back with a Gift Motupa penalty to go into the break level.

After the break Thabiso Kutumela gave SA the lead, but goalkeeper Riyaad Pieterse’s mistake brought the Zebras back into the game.

But Motupa showed his ice-cold nerve from the spot two minutes from time to give Bafana the confidence boost they will need in Rio in August.