Wasteful Bafana go down to Algeria

2015-01-19 23:11

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Bafana Bafana made an easy game look hard and paid the prize as they lost 3-1 to Algeria.

South Africa deserved something out of the game after playing their hearts out but their lack of experience and killer punch cost them the match as they allowed Algeria to come from behind to win the game.

Bafana should have wrapped up the game long before Algeria scored their first goal tonight.

Bafana took the lead early in the second half through Thuso Phala after a good move involving Tokelo Rantie and Andile Jali.

They could have doubled their lead a few minutes later when they were awarded a penalty after Jali was brought down in the box, but Rantie blasted the spot kick on to the upright.

Then the unthinkable happened when Thulani Hlatshwayo’s header went past goalkeeper Darren Keet and resulted in an own goal.

Soon Bafana were a goal down as Faouzi Ghoulam beat Keet on the near post.

Islam Slimani then scored Algeria’s third goal, although goalkeeper Keet should have done better to stop it.

Bafana showed glimpses of brilliance and on another day they would have won the game comfortably.

They made Algeria look ordinary in the opening half but let them off the hook on more than one occasion.

Bafana should have taken at least a 2-0 lead going into the break but Sibusiso Vilakazi and Andile Jali saw their efforts being saved by goalkeeper Raïs M’Bolhi.

It was a nervy start for the South Africans as they allowed the number one ranked team to dictate terms early on.

The North Africans wanted to unsettle Bafana with an early goal but found Keet in fine form between the poles.

Bafana suffered a huge blow just before the hour mark when defender Rivaldo Coetzee limped off the field with a recurring knee injury and had to be replaced by Siyabonga Nhlapo.

This led to a positional switch at the back as Anele Ngcongca had to be switched to the centre of defence but it did not change the balance of the team.

As the match went on, Bafana grew in stature as they started taking the game to their more-fancied opponents with Rantie’s pace causing all sorts of trouble to Algeria’s rearguard.

Captain Dean Furman came close to opening the scoreline but saw his shot ricocheting off the crossbar.

This prompted Bafana to attack more and Vilakazi should have done better when he was presented with the opportunity in front of goal but he hesitated first and Mbolhi rescued his team.

Few minutes later Jali was also in the thick of things but Mbolhi was once again equal to the task.

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