Senegal came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Eswatini, before winning 3-0 in the penalty shoot-out as they hope to become the first ever guests to lift the Southern African title.
South Africa brushed aside Mozambique 3-0 in their semi and will now seek to maintain their record of never having lost a COSAFA Cup final. They have also yet to concede a goal in this year’s competition.
Bafana Bafana took the lead when new Kaizer Chiefs signing Njabulo Ngcobo scored his first international goal as he flicked Siyethemba Sithebe’s free-kick into the bottom corner of the goal.
The excellent Yusuf Maart doubled the advantage just before the hour-mark with a beautiful curling shot that left Mozambique goalkeeper Ernan Siluane with no chance.
Then the in-form Victor Letsoalo followed up his hat-trick against Lesotho on Tuesday with another goal, this time from the penalty spot after he had been fouled in the Mozambique box. It moves him to the top of the scorers charts.
Senegal’s Lions of Teranga made a dramatic come-back in their clash with Eswatini to secure their place in the decider.
Eswatini appeared to be cruising when Sifiso Matse and Sabelo Ndzinisa scored two goals within five minutes of each other midway through the first half.
But there were some jitters when Pape Djitte pulled a goal back for the Senegalese, and their task was made harder after Fanelo Mamba received two yellow cards within four minutes and was sent off in the second period.
Senegal pushed for an equaliser and it finally came through El Hadj Kane with 10 minutes remaining.
That sent the game to penalties and Eswatini failed with all three of their spot-kicks as Sandile Gamedze, Ndzinisa and Siboniso Mamba missed.
Meanwhile, the winners in Sunday’s final will receive R500,000 in prize-money, while the runners-up will earn R250,000. The team that earns bronze gets R150,000 and the fourth-placed side R100,000.
The Player of the Tournament, Golden Boot winner and Goalkeeper of the Tournament will earn R20,000 each.