In their first taste of action since the advent of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, Bafana Bafana were held to a 1-1 draw by Namibia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg on Thursday evening.
Bafana were the first to get onto the scoresheet with a strike from Luther Singh in the 18th minute, while Absalom Limbondi grabbed the equaliser in the 55th minute.
It was the fourth match under head coach Molefi Ntseki who has thus far in his tenure been very unfortunate, with many postponements and lots of uncertainty.
Ntseki handed maiden caps to a couple of players, including Portugal-based defender Thibang Phete, Cape Town City anchorman Thabo Nodada and AmaZulu’s Siyethemba Sithebe.
The match was the first of two friendlies Bafana will play this week, with Zambia up next on Sunday at the same venue.
It was evident from the level of play that both teams have not played competitively in a long time, with Bafana’s last match in November when they beat Sudan 1-0 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.
Against the Brave Warriors, Bafana were defensively exposed especially since it was the first time the backline played together.
Mamelodi Sundowns defender, Mosa Lebusa, was guilty of napping in the second half as Limbondi peeled away from him to strike the ball on the edge of the box and score.
Bafana will be very disappointed with the result considering many of the Namibia players are classified as amateur players.
Most have not played football for seven months as the league in their country is still suspended.
With the exception of the PSL-based trio - Swallows FC goalkeeper Virgil Vries, Sundowns’ newly signed striker Peter Shalulile and Baroka FC midfielder Ananias Gebhardt - the Namibia squad is made up of home-based players.
South Africa is utilising the current Fifa international week as preparation for the upcoming Afcon qualifiers against São Tomé and Príncipe next month.