One of the great early moments in the COSAFA Castle Cup came in the second tournament held in 1998 as Namibia stunned South Africa’s FIFA World Cup-bound stars with a 3-2 victory in Windhoek.
The victory made Namibia at the time only the third team from the Southern African region to defeat Bafana Bafana after Zimbabwe and Zambia, and was one of the finest hours for coach Rusten Mogane at the country’s Independence Stadium.
South Africa had not competed in the inaugural COSAFA Castle Cup competition but with the World Cup in France looming, caretaker coach Jomo Sono was eager to give his squad a run.
They arrived in Windhoek for the game on January 24, 1998, with most of their top stars, including emerging teenager Benni McCarthy, Phil Masinga, Mark Fish and Brian Baloyi.
And all appeared to be going to plan as Thabo Mooki put South Africa ahead six minutes before halftime, driving a low shot past home goalkeeper Ronny Kanalelo.
But shortly afterwards Namibia were back level as Bafana Bafana hesitated at the back and 31-year-old Stanley Goagoseb was able to drill the ball into the roof of the net
South Africa were back in front just past the hour-mark when McCarthy showed some excellent skills to dribble past three defenders and set up Masinga for the easiest of finishes.
It looked as though the visitors had the game sewn up, before Bimbo Tjihero blasted home a free-kick just a minute from the end to make the score 2-2 and send the fixture into extra-time.
The decisive moment of the game came in the 100th minute when Johannes ‘Congo’ Hindjou dazzled the South African defence with some fast footwork and his cross was met by Berlin Auchumeb to send the home crowd into delirium.
The match was part of a winless run of nine matches for Bafana Bafana that would come to an end at the 1998 African Nations Cup finals … against Namibia.
Sono’s men got some revenge as McCarthy netted four goals in 13 first half minutes at the finals in Burkina Faso to secure a 4-1 success.
So South Africa’s first ever COSAFA Castle Cup tournament was brought to an early end, while Namibia would go on to finish fourth in the final round pool stage that in the first two tournaments decided the winner.
Saturday, January 24, 1998 – Windhoek
Namibia (1)  3
South Africa (1)  2
after extra time
Goals: 0-1 Thabo Mooki 39’; 1-1 Stanley Goagoseb 44’; 1-2 Phil Masinga 62’; 2-2 Bimbo Tjihero 89’; 3-2 Berlin Auchumeb 100’
Cautions: Willem Jackson 44’, John Moeti 68’; Robert Nauseb 54’
Ref.: Pastor Lillane (Lesotho)
Namibia: Fillemon Kanalelo, Philip Gairiseb, Stanley Goagoseb, Bimbo Tjihero, Robert Nauseb, Mohammed Ouseb, Ricardo Mannetti, Simon Uutoni, Silvester Goraseb (Johannes Hindjou 58’), Gervatius Uri Khob (Berlin Auchumeb 64’), Eliphas Shivute. Coach: Reston Mogane.
South Africa: Brian Baloyi, David Nyathi, Willem Jackson, Mark Fish, Andrew Rabutla, John Moeti, Thabo Mooki (Thabang Lebese 61’), Brandan Silent, Brendan Augustine (Dumisa Ngobe 54’), Phil Masinga (Pollen Ndlanya 82’), Benedict McCarthy. Coach: Jomo Sono.