A first-half strike from Teboho Mokoena saw Bafana Bafana defeat Botswana 1-0 at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Bafana coach Hugo Broos dropped goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, Nyiko Mobbie, Mihlali Mayambela, Themba Zwane amongst others following the big win over Sierra Leone and started Veli Mothwa, Sibongiseni Mthethwa and Ashley Du Preez notably.
Confidence within the camp of the host was extremely high following Saturday’s dominant 4-0 triumph over Sierra Leone and looked to cap off a similar display against the Zebras.
Botswana looked to hold their own against their fancied counterparts as the half flew but always found it difficult to break down the host particularly at the back.
The host though had the lead eight minutes before halftime when Teboho Mokoena fired in a free-kick from the edge of the six-yard area following a foul.
SuperSport United defender Thatayaone Ditlhokwe was removed by the visitors at the start of the second half for Thato Kebue.
With the lead intact and confidence high too, Bafana turned out for the second half eager to maintain their dominance whilst the Zebras targeted a comeback.
Botswana looked more purposeful following the resumption and thus gave the home team little time to settle on the ball and find openings to increase their tally.
A few substitutions from Bafana near the closing quarter match came, with Mayambela thrown on for Du Preez and Luke Le Roux on for Goodman Mosele.
The visitors went agonisingly close to snatching a draw in second-half stoppage time when Kabelo Seakanyeng's powerful crashed against the crossbar with Mothwa well beaten, as Broos' charges held on for the narrow win.
South Africa: Mothwa, Mudau, Xulu, De Reuck, Msani, Mthethwa, Mosele, Mokoena, Mmodi, Du Preez, Mayo
Subs: Buthelezi, Williams, Mobbie, Sibisi, Maela, Modiba, Sithole, Le Roux, Sekgota, Zwane, Mayambela, Lepasa.
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