Mntambo (Shirt no. 7), lines up with his South Africa teammates before kick off in Zambia
Jomo Cosmos Captain, Linda “Figo” Mntambo made his full international debut for South Africa last Saturday in Ndola, Zambia despite Bafana Bafana failing to clinch a spot in next year’s CHAN tournament.
Justin Shonga’s two late goals in the second leg at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium ensured victory for the Chipolopolo, who claimed the tie 4-2 on aggregate.
According to safa.net, it was the hosts who started brightly asking all the questions but the South African defence, marshaled by captain Mario Booysen was solid.
Roscoe Pietersen and Kgotso Moleko were in their element and did not let anything go through – but the latter almost let in Shonga early in the first half after he was dispossessed but the Zambian shot narrowly wide in the 28th minute.
The home side launched attack after attack but Thabo Senong’s men stood firm and managed to hold them for the first 79 minutes.
Trouble for South Africa started in the 80th minute when they let in Shonga, who was a menace the entire match, to give Zambia some breathing space with a goal.
Trying to chase the match, Bafana Bafana opened up at the back and allowed Shonga to grab his second of the day, just three minutes after his first one – and end the match as a contest.
No matter how hard they tried to get back into the game, South Africa, who had chances of their own but did not convert them, could not break the Chipolopolo defence.
Four players made their debuts for Bafana Bafana, namely Roscoe Pietersen, Kgotso Moleko, Linda Mntambo and Tshegofatso Mabasa.
HOW THEY LINED UP:
ZAMBIA: Toaster Nsabata (GK), Adrian Chama, Fackson Kapumbu, Ziyo Tembo, Isaac Shamujompa, Donashano Malama, Ernest Mbewe, Mike Katiba, Alex N’gonga, Justin Shonga, Augustine Mulenga
SUBS: Alan Chibwe (GK), John Chin’gandu, Godfey Ngwenya, Moses Nyondo, Collins Sikombe, Boston Muchindu, Martin Phiri
Coach: Wedson Nyirenda
SOUTH AFRICA: Bruce Bvuma (GK), Kgotso Moleko, Sibusiso Khumalo, Mario Booysen (c), Roscoe Pietersen, Linda Mntambo, Sibusiso Kumalo, Jabulani Shongwe, Dumisani Zuma (Jamie Webber 73’), Siphelele Ntshangase, Bonginkosi Ntuli (Tshegofatso Mabasa 85’).
SUBS: Steven Hoffman, Malebogo Modise, Ricardo Ndiki, Masilake Phohlongo, Wiseman Meyiwa, Jamie Webber, Tshegofatso Mabasa
Coach: Thabo Senong