Depleted Bafana victorious

A youthful looking Bafana Bafana beat Tanzania 1-0 in their international friendly at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday evening.

The goal came shortly before the interval, break courtesy of a Siyabonga Sangweni header in the 44th minute.

The defender found himself unmarked at the far post with the Tanzanian goalkeeper Juma Kaseja committing a howler by totally missing the ball from a corner kick.

It was Sangweni’s second international goal — one of few relatively experienced players in a squad that contained a number of first time selections.

Having controversially left South Africa on Thursday without the Kaizer Chiefs trio of Siphiwe Tshabalala, Itumeleng Khune and Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane picked five debutants in his starting line up: goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands, defender Siyanda Zwane and midfielders Hlompho Kekana, Erwin Isaacs and Sifiso Myeni.

Defender Morgan Gould was captain on the trip in the absence of Tshabalala.

The patched up visitors started off tentatively against the 112th ranked Taifa Stars who looked fluent at the start.

Bafana came into their own midway through the first half with renewed confidence as they controlled the bulk of the possession.

The side’s first chance in the game came from Sangweni in the 13th minute from a corner kick where he tried to play ball inside instead of shooting for goal.

Later striker Katlego Mphela came close to finding the opener in the 30th minute but fluffed his chance in the box.

The match was far from a classic with the tempo slowing down even further in the second half.

However, the hosts did make a surge in the last quarter of the match as the South Africans offered them space to play.

Sandilands pulled off miraculous saves as he twice denied burly forward John Boko.

The Mamelodi Sundowns stopper also pulled off an outstanding punch to deny a long range effort from Salum Machaku.

This is Bafana’s last preparatory match before they play Egypt in Cairo on June 5. — Sapa

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