Eish, Bafana!

2014-05-30 12:13

New Zealand 0

South Africa 0


That sums up Bafana Bafana’s performance in this friendly against a team ranked 111 in the world following a somewhat promising showing against 59th-ranked Australia on Monday.

In fact, the fact that the crowd cheered loudly when it was announced that there were 9 266 of them inside the stadium, tells you just how exciting the night (this morning, South African time) was.

Hopes were high that the boys would build from their earlier confidence-boosting performance, but the opposite happened.

A promising start that saw Tokelo Rantie latch on to a through ball in the first minute only to be thwarted by goalkeeper Glen Moss, saw the match deteriorate into a boring kick-about.

Bafana launched the most attacks but it was The All Whites who looked dangerous when on the offensive. Despite their dominance, it took all of 27 minutes for the visitors to get their first corner kick of the match.

They wasted the set-piece exchange taking a short corner when some players had made an effort to run into the box. This was going to be the pattern for the next three corner kicks that followed in this stanza.

It was from one of these that New Zealand broke, launched a dangerous counter-attack in the 41st minute that ended with Ryan Thomas having the ball nicked from his toe just as he was about to pull the trigger.

Before this, top star Marco Rojas, who plies his trade with Bundesliga side VfB Stuttgart in Germany, pulled his shot wide in the 26th minute following some neat passes by the home side.

Reneilwe Letsholonyane, who has been very shy to take pot-shots at goal on this tour, rattled the crossbar with a thunderous effort in the 31st minute only for the ricochet to find Thuso Phala in an offside position.

The latter made a good dash towards goal, slicing through a few players five minutes before recess, but his shot was deflected for a corner kick, which was again wasted.

The goalless half-time scoreline was no surprise as South Africa’s attack was as sharp as the bite of a toothless bulldog while New Zealand didn’t create sufficient chances to score.

Every once in a while when they did, Ronwen Williams came out from under his beach umbrella – pitched between the poles – to pull a brilliant save.

Besides the players, Australian referee Jarred Gillett must have had the easiest payday of his career.

If the first half was boring. The second was no different and was made worse by the several stops as New Zealand introduced six substitutes, with Igesund replying with three.

In the 90th minute, New Zealand coach Neil Emblen introduced goalkeeper Tamati Williams for captain Moss. This meant that both goalkeepers on the field at that time had the second name Williams.

Once more, Thulani Serero was singled out for rash tackles with both Michael Boxall (84th) and Tim Payne (deep in stoppage time) making it into the referees’ book for roughing up the same player.

» S’Busiso Mseleku is in New Zealand courtesy of Safa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.