Poland outplay Bafana

2012-10-13 00:00

WARSAW — South Africa suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Poland at the National Stadium in Warsaw in an international friendly last night.

Gordon Igesund’s side were outplayed by the Eastern Europeans, who will take confidence from this performance as they head into a 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier against England next week.

Only a fine performance from Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune kept the score down, while the visitors’ attack never really provided any kind of threat to the Polish defence, despite enjoying a good share of ball possession.

Bafana handed debuts to full-back Luvhengo Mungomeni and Ricardo Nunes.

The latter was caught out early in the game when Ariel Borysiuk ran free down the right and crossed for Adrian Mierzejewski, who shot wide of goal.

It was the first of many chances for the Poles, who were certainly the more potent of the two teams as far as attacking play was concerned.

In the 17th minute striker Artur Sobiech somehow missed a sitter from close range after a cross from Pawel Wszolek, another example of the hosts looking dangerous from wide areas.

In the 26th minute Arkadiusz Piech sprung the South African offside trap in a swift counterattack and looked destined to open the scoring, but goalkeeper Khune came up with a good save in a one-on-one situation to keep his team on par.

Bafana Bafana’s only real threatening moment arrived six minutes into the second half when a free kick from Nunes found the head of Kagisho Dikgacoi, but the midfielder’s effort flashed across the face of goal, much to the relief of Polish goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.

From then on it was all Poland, and Khune was soon forced into another good save, this time to deny Sobiech, while in the 67th minute substitute Waldemar Sobota headed wide of the target as the hosts once more cut Bafana’s defence open out on the flanks.

In the 82nd minute Poland’s pressure finally paid dividends, as right-back Grzegorz Wojtkowiak provided a low cross that was swept home by Marcin Komorowski.

Khune was helpless to deny the attacker, as his net was finally rippled.

Bafana thought they had scored an equaliser in injury time when Siyabonga Sangweni glanced home a header, but he was correctly ruled offside and the goal did not stand.

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