Bafana, Morocco thrill in draw

2013-10-12 08:57

Agadir – South Africa maintained their unbeaten run against Morocco when the two sides played to a 1-1 draw in an international friendly at the Agadir Stadium last night.

Bafana took an early lead through Tokelo Rantie, but Issam El Adoua replied after the break to help the home side avoid defeat at the new stadium.

The hosts had the first decent chance on goal in the sixth minute when Youssef El Arabi met Abdelatif Noussir’s cross just inside the penalty area, but his dipping header was pushed wide by Itumeleng Khune.

The opening goal arrived three minutes later when Daylon Claasen stole the ball inside Morocco’s half and released Rantie on the left, who then raced into the box, beating Mohammed Amsif at his near post.

The Atlas Lions then had two chances to level matters, but Abdelaziz Barrada saw his shot deflected just wide in the 18th minute, while Mehdi Benatia’s header was saved by Itumeleng Khune four minutes later.

Bafana Bafana looked to catch the hosts on the break but their next opportunity came from a free kick, with Lerato Chabangu getting his low effort on target, but this time Amsif managed to get his body behind the ball.

Rachid Taoussi’s side continued to search for the equaliser, with Omar El Kaddouri crashing his shot against the sidenetting in the 32nd minute before Khune pulled off a great save to keep out Benatia’s piledriver two minutes later.

Gordon Igesund’s men came close to doubling their lead four minutes before the break as Sibusiso Vilakazi ran onto a through-pass from Bernard Parker on the right, only to be denied by a brilliant one-handed save from Amsif.

Morocco made three changes at half time with Adel Taarabt, Abdelhamid El Kaoutari and Salahdine Saidi all taking the field, while Bafana were more conservative with just Bongani Zungu coming on for Vilakazi.

The home side eventually leveled matters five minutes into the second half when El Adoua rose highest inside the box to glance Younes Belhanda’s free kick past Khune and into the roof of the net.

Morocco came close to snatching the lead for the first time in the 78th minute when the ball fell kindly for El Kaoutari after Kgosi Ntlhe had slipped inside the box, but the substitute rushed his shot wide of goal.

Substitute Ayanda Patosi had half a chance at the other end ten minutes later when he broke through the middle, but he fired wide of the target from outside the box as the match ended in a draw.

Morocco (0) 1 (El Adoua 50’)

South Africa (1) 1 (Rantie 9’) - SuperSport/Sport24

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