12 September 2012
Gordon Igesund oversaw his first victory as Bafana Bafana coach at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Tuesday evening as the South African national team defeated Mozambique 2-0 in a friendly international.
Two goals, one early and one late, by Kaizer Chiefs marksman Bernard Parker sealed the win in front of a small crowd.
The victory continued South Africa’s excellent record at the venue. They’ve played there five times, won all five matches, and not conceded a single goal.
There were three changes to the team that went down 1-0 to Brazil. Moneeb Josephs was given the nod in goal ahead of Itumeleng Khune, who had excelled in Sao Paolo. Parker took over from Dino Ndlovu and substitute Benni McCarthy up front, and Reneilwe Letsholonyane replaced Kasgisho Dicgacoi, who had returned to Crystal Palace.
Bafana Bafana played confidently from the start of the game, enjoying the lion’s share of possession and controlling the play against a Mambas’ line-up that was missing some of the players that had helped them to an impressive 2-0 win over Morocco on Sunday.
Despite this, the South African side didn’t find Mozambique’s defence easy to break down after hitting the front in the seventh minute.
The goal came when midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala set up Parker with a well-played through ball and the striker provided the necessary finish with a left-footed shot across the goalkeeper Nelson Logomale to put the home side in front.
Letsholonyane was a little high with a half-volley and defender Bongani Khumalo was just wide with a header before Parker came close to notching a second goal after 25 minutes, but his shot passed narrowly over the bar.
The Mambas’ Helder Pelembe then sounded a warning with a powerful shot that passed just over the crossbar of the South African goal.
Just before the break, Tshabalala picked out Khumalo from a free kick and the defender found the back of the net. The linesman, however, disallowed the goal. Replays revealed he had got his decision wrong.
Both teams made changes at the break, which had a noticeable effect on the second half of the contest, with the match losing some of its shape.
After an hour, Parker got onto the end of a Tshabalala cross, but Logomale was up to the task and stopped the shot. Parker then played Tshabalala in, but Logomale again denied the South African attack.
Clesio Baugue fired narrowly wide for Mozambique and Tshabalala was just off target with a curling shot before Parker sealed the victory in the 87th minute.
After a nice, flowing move, substitute Thamsanqa Gabuza provided a cross from the right for Siboniso Gaxa, who cleverly left the ball, allowing it run for Parker. The striker made no mistake with his shot to double South Africa’s advantage.
Josephs nearly gifted the visitors a goal with time almost up when a heavy touch on the ball led to Baugue stealing possession away from the goalkeeper. Defender Bevan Fransman, however, reacted quickly and cleared Baugue’s goalbound shot off the line.
Bafana Bafana will play their next match in exactly a month’s time when they take on Poland in Bydgoszcz on 12 October.
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