Bafana earn draw against Sierra Leone as Egypt lose again

2010-10-11 00:00

BAFANA Bafana are in strong position in Group G following their 0-0 African Nations draw against Sierra Leone in Freetown yesterday.

The South Africans remain on top of the group after two matches and will be delighted that their main rivals, three-time successive African champions Egypt, slipped up with a second successive defeat yesterday, 1-0 away against Niger.

Niger are second in the group with three points, Sierra Leone have two and Egypt are in a shock last place with zero points.

Coach Pitso Mosimane kept to his word of starting with two strikers, with Katlego Mphela and Bernard Parker taking their places up-front. The coach made just one change from South Africa’s opening 2-0 victory against Niger in Nelspruit last month, with Teko Modise coming in for the injured Steven Pienaar in a midfield that included MacBeth Sibaya, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Thanduyise Khuboni.

While a victory would have left South Africa in a very strong position in Group G, Bafana will be satisfied to have come away with an away draw against ostensibly their toughest opposition in the group next to Egypt on paper.

Most encouraging for South Africa is the manner in which Egypt have imploded with two losses from two games against the sides who are supposed to be the two weakest teams in the group. The Pharaohs began with a 1-0 defeat against Sierra Leone in Cairo last month.

Clearly all is not well in the Egyptians’ camp, and Bafana will hope the situation remains that way until March, which is when the South Africans are at home to the Pharaohs in the teams’ next fixture.

While home and away games are always vastly different prospects, South Africa will feel more confident of coming away with a victory against Niger in Niamey in September next year than they did for the past weekend’s trip to Sierra Leone.Bafana will expect a comfortable win at home against Sierra Leone.

Niger striker Moussa Maazou, who plays for Bordeaux, scored their 34th-minute winner in Niamey. Maazou raced past Egypt defender Mohamed Abdel Shafy and slipped the ball past advancing Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary.

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