Bafana Sweat to a Goalless draw

2010-03-18 12:32

Before last night’s game against Cruzeiro, Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Parreira said it would be the most difficult of all the games they had played in Brazil, and he was not far off the mark judging at how Bafana were made to sweat before settling for a goalless draw.
Cruzeiro gave Bafana the stiffest competition so far in their Brazilian tour and a food for thought for Parreira ahead of tomorrow’s game against Botafogo.
After registering two successive victories over Fluminense and Boavista, Bafana were made to sweat for their second goalless draw of the month-long camp.

Playing before a crowd of abut 40 000 vociferous crowd, Bafana just wielded under pressure. The South Africans showed nerves in the opening stages of the game by allowing the host to dictate terms and take the game to them.

The opening 10 minutes were too frustrating for Parreira who threw his hands in the air in dismay as his team was chasing shadows.
Buoyed by the home crowd, Cruzeiro pushed forward searching for a goal but found Itumeleng Khune very resilient in the poles.

It took almost 15 minutes for Bafana to have their first attempt at goals when Katlego Mphela had a shot at goals albeit without troubling goalkeeper Fabio.

A minute later Bafana almost took a surprise lead when Mphela was put through by Simphiwe Tshabalala, but the Mamelodi Sundowns striker missed the easiest of chances when he gifted the ball to on-rushing Fabio.

Then it was Cruzeiro’s turn to attack Bafana. Khune was called to make yet another stupendous save when the game was 24 minutes old from Pedro Ken’s header.

Four minutes later, the Kaizer Chiefs number one showed again why he is the country’s first-choice goalkeeper when he thwarted Roger’s shot.

Bafana grew in confidence as the game progressed and Teko Modise who did not have a good game, was denied the opportunity by defender Diego Renan.

The game followed the same pattern in the second half with the hosts pushing forward relentlessly.

Substitute Bernardo came close when his free-kick beat Khune but ricocheted off the cross bar in the 53rd minute.

Bafana twice nearly snatched it at death through substitute Franklin Cale, but Fernando denied him on both occasions.

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