Modise magic for Bafana

2007-11-21 00:00

MIDFIELDER Teko Modise's brace earned Bafana Bafana's B team a deserved 2-0 win over a full-strength Canada in a friendly international at King's Park last night.

Bafana, ranked 83 in the world, fielded a young, locally-based combination that showed, in outplaying 51st-ranked Canada, that there is depth in talent for South Africa ahead of the African Nations Cup finals in Ghana in January. Bafana's B side were also crowned Cosafa Cup champions this year.

Canada were reduced to ten men when Tottenham Hostpur defender Paul Staltieri was sent off by Malawian referee Kalyoto Ngosi for backchatting.

While pleased, Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said South Africa still have a long way to go. “Of course I am happy, not only with the result but also with the performance. We had the right balance in defence in attack and how to use possession, and we were able to use the whole field. It gives us a lot to think about for the team we will take to Ghana.”

Modise was the hero of the evening, displaying sublime skill and often popping up in all the right places. His performance was capped by a brace of goals, including a long-range gem of sheer quality.

Bafana's senior team may not be playing too well, but one has the feeling that if they do turn things around and make an impact in Ghana, Modise could have a big role to play.

As preparation for Ghana the match was a thoroughly worthwhile exercise. Bafana's B side, used to competing against African opposition in the Cosafa Cup, got to test themselves against a decent-strength side from outside the continent and acquitted themselves very well.

And Modise was not the only promising performer. Right-back Bryce Moon, left-back Tshepo Masilela, livewire strikers Lerato Chabangu and Terror Fanteni, and especially competitive midfielder Lance Davids, certainly put their hands up.

Bafana started and finished the first half strongly. Six minutes in Fanteni was fed into a huge gap by Chabangu but the dangerman striker's shot was saved by the leg of goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld. A minute later Moon's cross whipped in from the right was headed onto the upright at the near post by Fanteni.

Canada proved a compact, neatly organised unit and created a dangerous chance of their own in the 20th minute when Atib Hutchinson's cross was missed by the Bafana defence and fell to Josh Simpson on the left, whose shot was angled wide across goal.

Modise produced his moment of magic in the 39th minute. A ball cleared out of defence fell to Chabangu, who fed the Orlando Pirates playmaker 25 metres out. Modise stepped inside the charging challenge of Kevin McKenna, took the ball back onto his right foot, and curled a scorcher into the top right-hand corner.

Twenty seconds into first-half injury time Bafana were awarded a somewhat fortunate penalty when there appeared to be little contact between Tottenham Hotspur defender Paul Staltieri and Chabangu in the left corner of the Canadian area. Modise stepped up and coolly slotted to the right of Hirschfeld to make it 2-0 at the break.

South Africa came out with confidence at the start of the second half, with Davids testing Hirschfeld with a skidding 20m shot after a good build-up.

In the 66th minute, Parreira, having seen what he needed to from Davids and Fanteni, replaced the pair with Brent Carelse and Norman Smith. Davids received warm applause on going off.

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