Eight games, no win as Bafana draw closer to missing World Cup

Tokelo Ranrie of Bafana thwarted by Kabelo Dambe of Botswana during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Botswana and South Africa. (Duif Du Toit, Gallo Images)

Tokelo Ranrie of Bafana thwarted by Kabelo Dambe of Botswana during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Botswana and South Africa. (Duif Du Toit, Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana took another blow to their World Cup qualifying campaign, as they drew 1-1 with Botswana in their Group A match in Gaborone on Saturday.

The visitors dominated the first half and could have been a few goals clear, but again poor finishing cost the South Africans, playing their first game under interim coach Steve Komphela.

It was their eighth successive match without a win.

“Looking at the first half I thought there were stages where we were in good control of the match,” Komphela said after the game.

“We played the way we would have loved to see ourselves perform on the day and there was an element of commitment one saw.

“Some concentration lapses were prevalent, but to the extent where we could still survive.”

South Africa, who drew their opening qualifier against Ethiopia last week, now face an uphill battle to finish top of their group, with only one spot available to advance to the next stage of qualification.

The game began at a frenetic pace with Anele Ngongca the first to cross the ball into the home side’s area, but Botswana goalkeeper keeper Kabelo Dambe had it covered.

Katlego Mphela had his first shot at goal in the ninth minute, but it went wide and Siphiwe Tshabalala had his strike cleared off the line by Ofentse Nato.

Bafana went ahead in the 14th minute, after a pin-point corner taken by Steven Pienaar found Morgan Gould, who obliged with a header that had the beating of the Botswana keeper.

Mphela then began to dominate the Botswana defence with a flurry of attempts.

The best came in the 23rd minute when he forced a good save from a free kick 25-metres out, as Bafana looked to double their lead.

After the first half-hour, however, Botswana then began to take control and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 38th minute when Nato capitalised on a rebounded shot.

Eight minutes after the break, Tshabalala had a trademark left-footed curling shot tipped over the post from a strike heading for the top-left corner of the net.

On the hour mark, with what would have been his first touch, substitute Tokelo Rantie raced Dambe to the ball with the keeper managing to tip it out for a corner.

Another probing set piece from Pienaar in the 64th minute saw Gould with a free header that just missed the target.

With 11-minutes left, Teko Modise, who came on just after the break, wasted a golden opportunity, unmarked in the box, as he wildly launched his shot over the target.—Sapa.

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