Bafana beat Zimbabwe 3-0 in workmanlike performance

2010-01-28 00:00

AS a completion of a training camp that coach Carlos Alberto Parreira says is the beginning of the final lap of his World Cup preparations, Bafana Bafana’s clinical 3-0 victory over Zimbabwe at Moses Mabhida Stadium last night provided a satisfactory end result.

Bafana’s victory was more workmanlike than sensational. The home side always had a few notches to step up, and didn’t have to raise too much of a sweat.

This should have been expected from a side at the tail-end of a two-week camp playing a hastily-assembled Zimbabwe.

A positive was that in organisation and ability the locally-based South Africans looked far less a “Cosafa Cup side” than their PSL and Zimbabwe-based opponents.

After an uninspired first half, the home side stepped up a gear in the second to score three well-taken goals, ultimately getting the job done for another convincing victory, this time against medium-strength opposition.

It will have done Bafana’s confidence the world of good to have scored nine goals in two games, following Saturday’s 6-2 training game defeat of Swaziland at Chatsworth Stadium.

“It was not only about the game tonight — it was about the preparation of the camp and for us to get some new faces into the team and to watch them very closely in training.

“It is not possible in 12 days to build a team, so I am happy with the commitment we showed.

“In two games we have been able to see almost all the players, except only for Moeneeb Josephs, and we know how he plays.

“In the first half we struggled, and gave away possession too often too needlessly. In the second half we changed the way we were marking and then we started dominating and getting better combinations together.

“Zimbabwe came with seven players who play in our league, they are experienced and played to stop us playing with five defenders. This team knows how to make life difficult for you.”

The first shot in anger came in the form of a 25-metre drive by Teko Modise in the 11th minute that was palmed over for a corner by Platinum Stars goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini.

Midway through the half Kaizer Chiefs striker Knowledge Musona curled his free-kick from a dangerous position well off target for Zimbabwe.

Bafana’s best chance of the half came when Katlego Mphela beat defender Method Mwanjale on the left in the 34th minute and threaded a pass through to Modise on the right, whose shot struck the upright.

With five minutes to go, the ball was won from Musona in the Bafana area and worked through a quick counter-attack to Mphela at the other end, whose tantalising ball across goal was behind his attackers.

Musona seemed unfortunate to be ruled offside at the end of the half.

Bafana opened the scoring five minutes into the second period in spectacular fashion, Siphiwe Tshabalala expertly curling in a free-kick from 24 metres.

A string of substitutions saw Parreira introduce Franklin Cale, Lance Davids, Thulasizwe Mbuyane and Richard Henyekane.

Moments after coming on, Henyekane, in the 74th minute, was fed in the middle, but took too many touches and shot weakly at Kapini.

Two minutes later it was 2-0 to the World Cup hosts, as a sweeping move stretched the Zimbabwean defence and Siboniso Gaxa’s cross was headed in sharply by Mbuyane from close range.

In injury time Mbuyane floated in a corner and Orlando Pirates captain Lucas Thwala ghosted into the area and buried a powerful header. Siyabonga Sangweni cleared an effort from in front of the line to preserve the 3-0 scoreline.

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