Bafana bounce back

2015-06-18 06:01
PHOTO: gallo images 

Thamsanqa Gabuza of South Africa during the international friendly between South Africa and Angola at Cape Town Stadium on 16 June. He scored one of the two goals.

PHOTO: gallo images Thamsanqa Gabuza of South Africa during the international friendly between South Africa and Angola at Cape Town Stadium on 16 June. He scored one of the two goals.

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BAFANA Bafana bounced back from their weekend disappointment against Gambia to come from behind and see off Angola 2-1 in an international friendly at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday.

Shakes Mashaba’s men, who drew 0-0 in their opening Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday, were dealt an early blow when a thunderous Alexandre M’Futila effort put the visitors ahead.

Thamsanqa Gabuza levelled in first-half stoppage time, before Felipe Malanda’s own goal after the hour handed South Africa and their under-pressure coach a much-needed win.

The hosts had come into the game on the back of not scoring in their previous three games and the pressure looked set to continue after they squandered some early chances­. Mashaba made four changes coming into the game, but it was one of the men who retained their place that squandered the early openings.

Orlando Pirates striker Gabuza was the guilty party, heading wide after 17 minutes with only the goalkeeper to beat, drawing plenty of “ooohs” from those who braved the cold and wet Cape conditions to support their country.

Most of them were silenced five minutes later when a stunning 25-yard strike from Alexandre kissed the underside of the crossbar on its way into the top right corner. Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and rest of the Bafana­ Bafana team were also bewildered.

Gabuza wasted another chance not long after mis-controlling the ball with only the Angoala goalkeeper to beat after fine work from the outstanding Thulani Serero.

As the clock ticked past the half-hour Ayanda Patosi drew a good save out of Landu Mavinga with a curled free kick.

And just as it looked like Mashaba’s men would be trailing at the break, up popped Gabuza to make amends for his earlier misses with his first goal for his country, which was a straightforward finish after the Angolan custodian parried May Mahlangu’s shot into his path.

That lifted the mood after the break and just after the hour Mavinga was again called into action, although this time he did much better to hold on to a low right-footed strike from Patosi that was heading towards his right.

But there was nothing the Angolan custodian could do to stop a slick South Africa attack after 68 minutes. Bonginkosi Ntuli broke away down the right and cut the ball back from the right for Serero, whose brilliant­ first touch set up Patosi to strike the ball onto the cross bar and then off defender Malanga into his own net.

Substitutes Ntuli and Thulani Hlatshwayo both had decent chances to extend South Africa’s advantage with 15 minutes to play, although Mavinga was picked out on both occasions.

And at the other end, Alexandre’s slightly under-hit chip was cleared away by Thabo Matlaba, with the rebound strike turned wide by Khune as the hosts fought off some late pressure to seal the win.

The result ensured the home side have never lost against Angola in eight attempts

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