Nelspruit - South Africa launched a challenge for African Nations Cup redemption by outplaying minnows Niger 2-0 on Saturday in Nelspruit.Early and late first half goals from strikers Katlego Mphela and Bernard Parker saw Bafana Bafana secure maximum points from a Group G opener likely to prove the easiest of six qualifying games.A visit to bogey team Sierra Leone in October will reveal more about the team who three months ago became the first Soccer World Cup hosts to be eliminated after the first round.Local coach Pitso Mosimane replaced veteran Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira after that tournament and vowed to take the 1996 African champions to the 2012 finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.With seven-time title holders Egypt in the same mini-league and only the table toppers guaranteed a tournament place, it is a tall order for former national team striker Mosimane.After hosting and winning the Nations Cup, South Africa have steadily slipped from 1998 runners-up to three consecutive first round exits since 2004 and the humiliation of not even making it to Angola this year.The vuvuzela may have been shown a 'red card' from European football body UEFA this week, but the plastic horn that droned to prominence during the World Cup was much in evidence at the 40,000-seat Mbombela Stadium.South African supporters need little encouragement to celebrate and they witnessed an encouraging start as the team set out to break down the predictably hyper-cautious Central Africans.Niger survived several scares and goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda needed treatment after taking an accidental knock when defender Bongani Khumalo tried to knock a loose ball into the net.Mphela put Bafana Bafana ahead with a clinical finish on 12 minutes, racing on to a perfectly weighted Steven Pienaar pass and touching the ball twice before chipping it over the onrushing goalkeeper.The 27-year-old Mamelodi Sundowns striker craves a transfer overseas with Birmingham City and Glasgow Rangers reportedly showing interest and this top-drawer finish will do his prospects no harm.Poor control robbed Mphela of a second goal as half-time approached with the ball running away from him and overworked Daouda cleared as Niger struggled to contain the lively home team.And three minutes into first-half stoppage time South Africa doubled their advantage with Parker from Dutch champions Twente volleying an Anele Ngcongca cross into the corner of the net.The second half followed a similar pattern to what had gone before with South Africa attacking continuously and Daouda from Cameroon club Cotonspoprt Garoua sparing the visitors a hiding through numerous fine saves.
Follow Sport24 on Twitter and Facebook
Read News24’s Comments Policy
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
18-year-old Quincy Davis started surfing out of boredom and now this stunning blonde is a pro in the water.
View Results |
Firstly, well done to Mr Meyer and the Boks for a successful Xmas expedition! Won all their games, so job done and most of the time done well, writes blogger Kevin D.
100% Natural Warm Muscle Rub
Dual Foil Flex Shaver
Face Care Starter Pack
Shave Care Starter Pack
Homme II Facial Moisture Fluid 2 In 1
Salon Elite in Posh Purple
Hydration & Skin Detox
Aromatherapy Body Tonic
Wet Skin Transparent Sun Spray SPF 30
Refresh Radiance Dry Shampoo
Argan Oil Volumizing Mousse
Follow Sport24 on Twitter
Sign up for Sport24's Morning Glory newsletter
Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there
Enter and win with Sport24!
Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services
Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry
Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone
"Like" Sport24's Facebook page
Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide
Sport news delivered really simply.
24.com: Legal notices
Advertise on 24.com
24.com. All rights reserved.