Bafana coming home

2015-01-27 22:17

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Bafana Bafana have been knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations after going down 2-1 to Ghana.

Needing a victory to stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages, Bafana collapsed in the second half as they allowed the Black Stars to bounce back from 1-0 down at the break.

André Ayew was Ghana’s hero after scoring the winner in the 83rd minute.

Ghana showed their class and experience, particularly in the second half when they were chasing the game and were rewarded at the end.

They were deserved winners as Bafana were not at their best.

The result meant Bafana lost two of their three games and finished at the bottom of the group with only a point to show for their efforts.

Ghana qualified for the knockout stages, together with Algeria, who beat Senegal 2-0 in the other game.

It was a nervy start for the South Africans as they allowed the Black Stars to bombard them early on.

Ghana forced two quick corners in the space of a minute and it caused all sorts of problems in the Bafana box.

A mix-up between goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo and Eric Mathoho nearly resulted in a goal but they were able to clear the mess.

Bafana then took a half time lead after going ahead in the 17th minute through a wonderful Mandla Masango volley.

But the question was whether they could hold on to their lead until the end of the game, after failing to do so in their previous two games.

Once more, Bafana were unsuccessful as Ghana substitute John Boye drew his side level in the 75th minute.

Bafana’s undoing was conceding too many unnecessary free kicks and the Black Stars were always dangerous on high balls.

However, after absorbing the early pressure, Bafana settled down and started playing their normal football.

Andile Jali was the main orchestrator in the middle of the park and his passes were spot on. The decision to start with Bongani Ndulula seemed to be the right one as the AmaZulu striker came to the party in areal battles.

Khuzwayo also had to be at his best when he denied Abdul Baba the equaliser in the first half.

Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba had made four changes to the team that started against Senegal on Friday and this was a touch of genius from the technical team as Masango found the back of the net.

But Ghana came back strongly in the second stanza as they searched for the equaliser and started pumping balls into the Bafana goal area.

Mathoho and company were in an uncompromising mood, but unfortunately they could do nothing when Boye found space in the box and turned to beat Khuzwayo.

Then Ayew’s header proved to be the killer blow for Bafana.

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