Bafana fires blank in Afcon opener

2013-01-19 20:41

Bafana Bafana started their Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a goalless draw against debutants Cape Verde.

The failure to find the back of the net means coach Gordon Igesund has gone three matches in succession without a goal.

The hosts were nearly surprised by the island team 15 minutes into the game but Luis Soares put his effort wide after he was set clear on goal thanks to a miscalculation by defender Bongani Khumalo.

After a disappointing first half, with just three attempts at goal and a single shot on target, there were flashes of promise in the following half.

Igesund was forced to withdraw midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi due to a troubling knee injury.

The Crystal Palace player gave in at half-time.

His substitution seemed like it had opened the way for a more attacking formation for the hosts but that was not the case.

The introduction of Lerato Chabangu was meant to add the numbers up front, where Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro had struggled to link up.

Even the entries of Thulani Serero and Katlego Mphela could not offer the near capacity crowd something to cheer about.

Khune made a timely save from a tricky header by Heldon Ramos near the end.

The outcome means Bafana started on a single point and they will have to give it their all against Angola and Morocco to bring any hope of a second-round qualification.

They will face Angola at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Wednesday.

How Bafana lined up: Itumeleng Khune - Anele Ngcongca, Bongani Khumalo, Siyabonga Sangweni, Thabo Matlaba - Siphiwe Tshabalala (Thulani Serero 60th), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Kagisho Dikgacoi (Lerato Chabangu 46th), Thuso Phala - Lehlohonolo Majoro (Katlego Mphela 68th), Bernard Parker

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