Bafana draws again

2012-02-29 22:00

The South African senior national team has now gone eight matches without a victory.

A goalless draw against Senegal tonight brings the number of draws in eight Bafana matches to six. In fact, the last time Bafana scored a victory was in August 2011 against a weak Burkina Faso side.

Before tonight’s game against Senegal, Bafana had drawn against Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia and Ghana and lost to Zimbabwe and Niger.

This must be a worrying trend for Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane who seemed to have lost his winning touch.

But to their credit Bafana played purposeful football, eager to win the hearts of South Africans. Their best chance fell to Katlego Mphela in the 58th minute but the Mamelodi Sundowns striker’s header was well saved by Senegal goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul.

Mosimane would have been happy with the team’s overall performance as they were the better side but they should have done better by converting their superior ball possession into goals.

Bafana took the game to the visitors from the first half but found the West Africans a hard nut to crack at the back.

Bafana could have taken the lead as early as the eighth minute but Coundoul denied the pint-sized May Mahlangu.

The physically built West Africans were no pushovers as they easily dispossessed the lightweight Bafana, particularly Serero and Mahlangu, who seemed to be overawed by the occasion in only his second cap for the national team.

The Swedish player of the season made too many unforced errors, losing too much possession in the middle and at crucial times of the match when his teammates had pushed forward.

Mosimane gave in-form Free State Stars striker Edward Manqele his first cap but he played in patches as he was more of winger than goal scorer.

Bafana defence was superb as they reduced goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune to a mere spectator for the better half of the match.

The beginning of the second half saw Mosimane withdrawing the ineffective Tsepo Masilela and Kagisho Dikgacoi for Thanduyise Khuboni and Punch Masenamela.

These were positive changes as they not only stabilised the team but also gave the side attacking options – particularly Masenamela on the left – but the Sundowns defender was let down by his wayward crossing.

Later on Mosimane introduced crowd favourites Teko Modise and Lebohang Mokoena, who injected more life into the game.

But it was not to be Bafana’s night.

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