Bafana too good for Ivory Coast

2014-11-30 18:53

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Bafana Bafana outclassed Ivory Coast with a comprehensive 2-0 victory in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Mbombela Stadium today.

The South Africans overcame their West-African counterparts courtesy of goals from Bongani Zungu in the 31st minute and David Zulu in the 53rd minute.

The second-string team gave a superb performance that preserved coach Shakes Mashaba’s unbeaten streak since taking over in August.

The affable Mashaba’s record as coach sits at four wins and three draws.

Ivory Coast goalkeeper Abdul Cisse was left exposed at the back, as his teammates failed to protect him from the Bafana onslaught.

The hosts started like a house on fire and had the ball in the back of the net inside two minutes.

But a dubious offside call from the linesman denied Vuyisile Wana the opener, after a superb delivery from Themba Zwane on the left had set-up the Moroka Swallows attacking midfielder in front of an empty net.

South Africa continued to trouble the Ivorians at the back as Zulu, in particular, caused havoc behind the back four, but failed to hit the target at crucial stages.

Bafana were finding holes in the Elephants’ back row and soon Zungu tucked away the opener. The opener came after some slick passing on the edge of the box that found the Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder free inside the area.

Zungu made no mistake, firing away his shot after Patrick Phungwayo supplied the final pass, which allowed young Zungu to bulged the net at the far post.

South Africa’s goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane was rarely troubled at the back and looked comfortable between the posts, where he was aptly protected by Bafana’s back four of Siyabonga Nhlapo, Kwanda Mngonyama, Chris Komane and Phungwayo.

Having dominated the first-half, Bafana picked up from where they left off as they launched another surge in search of the second goal.

Captain Thamsanqa Sangweni kept the opposition midfield in check with a outstanding performance that helped ensure a cleansheet for the hosts.

After a stretch of applied pressure on the opposition, Zulu doubled the lead in the 53rd minute when the striker put the ball into an open net after the goalkeeper failed to clear a ball outside the box.

Mabokgwane in the 67th minute denied Ismael Diomande inside the box, after the Ivorian striker slipped past the Bafana defence only to shoot directly at the observant goalkeeper.

Bafana had a chance to put the nail into the coffin in the 72rd minute, but Puleng Tlolane beat the defence only to shoot straight into the chest of defender Inza Diabante as the chance went fell by the wayside.

In the end Bafana could have added more goals to their tally as the opposition formation opened up as they went in search of a goal.

A number of players put their hands up for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in January to be hosted by Equatorial Guinea, which should give Mashaba a selection quandary.

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