Bafana Bafana

Bafana save face, sink Senegal

Mpho Makola (Gallo Images)
Mpho Makola (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - After their disastrous outing against Mauritania in an AFCON qualifier on Saturday, Bafana Bafana have managed to defeat Senegal in the Nelson Mandela Challenge played at Orlando Stadium.

Mpho Makola, on debut for the national side, scored the only goal of the game in the 78th minute. 

Shakes Mashaba, who made seven changes to the team from Saturday, will be well pleased with how the players acquitted themselves against a side who had not lost a match since the African Cup of Nations earlier in the year. 

Bafana produced some excellent football throughout the first half with Sibusiso Vilakazi and Thamsanqa Gabuza linking up extremely well.

Gabuza had numerous chances but just could not hit the target.

He was cruelly denied in the 42nd minute by a brilliant reaction save with the ball then coming off the underside of the bar and bouncing clear. 

The half ended 0-0. 

Bafana Bafana started the second half much like they had finished the first, pressing for a goal but again wasted numerous scoring opportunities.

Vilikazi probably should have broken the deadlock when put through on goal in the 63rd minute, but could only shoot wide with just the keeper to beat.

A breakthrough finally came in the 78th minute when Makola received the ball outside the area and unleashed a beautiful right-footed curler into the top-right corner. 

Senegal themselves had chances to equalize, but a combination of poor shooting and some great work by Itumeleng Khune ensured that the Bafana captain secured the 31st clean sheet of his international career. 

Although only a friendly, a victory against such quality opposition will surely allow Shakes Mashaba to breathe a sigh of relief.

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