Bafana, Senegal in stalemate
Durban - South Africa played to a goalless draw with Senegal in an international friendly at a rainy Moses Mabhida Stadium here on Wednesday night.
Bafana Bafana created the better chances throughout the match, but a combination of good goalkeeping from Senegal’s Bouna Coundoul and some poor finishing left the hosts still searching for their first win against the Teranga Lions after this, the teams’ fifth meeting.
South Africa created the best chance of the first half in just the ninth minute when midfielder May Mahlangu burst forward to have a shooting chance from inside the penalty area, but under pressure from a Senegal defender he saw his left-footed effort well saved by Bouna Coundoul.
Bafana had to wait another 20 minutes before they again looked like scoring, as a promising build-up of quick passes handed Katlego Mphela a chance to get away a snap shot, but his effort was scuffed and easily saved by Coundoul.
With 10 minutes of the first half remaining the hosts created another opportunity inside the Teranga Lions’ 18-yard area, but youngster Thulani Serero lost his composure and sliced his right-footed shot well wide of the target.
Senegal threatened little in attack throughout the first half, as they mostly looked to hit South Africa on the counter. Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune had a relatively quiet first 45 minutes.
Early in the second half it seemed as if the visitors would be much more of a handful, but it only took a few minutes for Bafana to re-assert their moderate control of the game when half-time substitutes Punch Masenamela and Thanduyise Khuboni got up to speed after replacing Tsepo Masilela and Kagisho Dikgacoi respectively.
Coundoul made his best save of the night in the 59th minute, diving to his left to smother a Mphela header after the Bafana striker had played a well-weighted pass out to the overlapping Anele Ngcongca before sprinting into the danger zone to meet the right-back’s excellent cross.
Three minutes later the West Africans should have taken the lead when Pape Souare provided a peach of a cross from the left flank that took the Bafana centre-backs and goalkeeper out of the game, but Dame N’Doye somehow missed the target from just a couple of metres out.
Mphela had a chance to win the game in the 86th minute when he received a great cut-back from substitute George Maluleka, but he was unable to get away a first-time shot and his attempts to work space for an effort on the turn saw him quickly closed down.
Teko Modise almost stole a win for Bafana Bafana deep in injury time with a dipping long-range strike, but Coundoul once again was equal to the task, getting his fingertips to the ball to direct it over his crossbar. The final whistle blew immediately afterwards.
South Africa: Khune; Ngcongca, Khumalo, Gould, Masilela (Masenamela 46’), Pienaar (Maluleka 68’), Dikgacoi (Khuboni 46’), Mahlangu (T. Sangweni 85’), Serero (Modise 68’), Mphela, Manqele (Mokoena 68’)
Senegal: Coundoul; J. Faty, Ba, P. Gueye, Souare, I. Gueye, Diame (Kouyate 56’), R. Faty (Thioune 88’), N’Diaye (Diabang 64’), Konate (Diop 90+5’), N’Doye (Badji 72’)
Referee: R. Ruzive (Zimbabwe)