Sydney - Bafana Bafana held their own against a determined Australia, playing
out to a 1-1 draw in an international friendly at ANZ Stadium, in
Sydney, on Monday.
As it happened: Australia v Bafana
Ayanda Patosi opened the scoring after 13
minutes with a classy finish, but saw his goal cancelled out by an
unfortunate own goal from South African defender Erick Mathoho, who
mistimed a goal-line clearance and buried the ball in the back of the
The game was the first on tour for the South Africans, whose
original squad of 18 was ravaged by player withdrawals before the team
departed for their trip Down Under.
Gordon Igesund's youngsters put up a decent performance in front of a 50 000-strong Sydney crowd.
off as a second-string side before kick-off, Bafana looked good in
patches and dampened much of the home supporters' spirits. The locals
came out in their numbers to bid farewell to the Socceroos, who played
their final game before they jet off to Brazil on Wednesday for the Fifa
World Cup, starting on June 12.
The hosts started brightly and
had early chances stifled by Senzo Meyiwa in goal. He was forced to make
a couple of brilliant stops, including a reflex save off the line to
deny Matthew Leckie in the eighth minute.
Bafana managed to soak up the pressure and five minutes later, Patosi rounded-off a move he had started inside his own half.
against the run of play, Patosi surged forward along the right flank,
before laying off to Thulani Serero, who in turn threaded a fine pass
through to Tokelo Rantie.
Rantie did some good work in the area
but was dispossessed, but centred for an advancing Patosi, who curled in
his effort, slotting into the side of the net on the way in.
South Africans' celebrations, however, were short-lived and less than
90 seconds later, the home side drew level, benefiting from a clumsy
clearance on the line from Mathoho, who found the roof of the net with
his failed clearance.
Australia were all over their visitors
after the equaliser and saw two further chances go begging after 20
minutes, as Bafana's passes went astray and their defence wilted under
Level at the break, Bafana had a much better start
to the second period and saw Patosi flash narrowly wide of the mark a
minute into the half. For Australia, Leckie dragged wide before the hour
South Africa enjoyed their best period an hour into the
clash, with a number of promising interchanges going a long way to erase
some clumsy passing in the opening 45 minutes.
The teams settled
into a canter with 20 minutes left to play, but Bafana seemed to hold
on to possession and were able to pay regular visits into the opposition
territory, while still looking shaky at the back.
are yet to whittle their World Cup squad down from its current 30 to
the final 23, withdrew key players like Tim Cahill and Leckie from the
field, giving the rest of the squad an opportunity to test their fitness
and stake their claim in front of coach Ange Postecoglou.
final flourish from the home side almost led to a late winner by Oliver
Bozanic, who did well to loop a header goalwards. But he pushed it
slightly high, past a grateful Meyiwa who watched as the chance went
In the end, the teams matched each other in
most departments, but a worry for Igesund remains in South Africa's lack
of composure in possession and regular gifting of the ball to their