Cape Town - Shakes Mashaba has pulled off a masterstroke in Point Noire on Saturday afternoon when his side defeated Congo 2-0 to go top of Group A.
Much of the pre-game talk centred around the possible rotation of the captain’s armband, the recall to the starting eleven of Thulani Serero and handing 17-year-old Rivaldo Coetzee his debut.
Mashaba elected to continue with Orlando Pirates' goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa as his captain. Meyiwas seems to thrive under high pressure situations and made a series of brilliant saves as he kept a clean sheet.
Thulani Serero toiled hard all afternoon but was well marked by the opposition. The Ajax Amsterdam man should go on to form part of a lethal midfield trio alongside Dean Furman and Andile Jali.
Young Rivaldo Coetzee was phenomenal all afternoon as he dealt with several tests from the Congo forwards and played like it was his 100th cap for the national team.
What’s clear from Bafana Bafana’s first three games is that Shakes Mashaba will do things his way, he will continue to attack and only pick players who he feels can play to his game plan.
The Bafana Bafana doubters were as silent as the partisan home crowd in Congo as the national team took the game by the scruff of the neck and conquered a team ranked almost 20 places higher than them in the FIFA rankings.
Bafana Bafana player ratings:
1. Senzo Meyiwa - 9.5
2. Thulani Hlatshwayo - 7
3. Thabo Matlaba - 7
4. Eric Mathoho - 7.5
5. Rivaldo Coetzee - 8.5
6. Dean Furman - 9
7. Mandla Masango - 7
8. Andile Jali - 8
9. Thulani Serero - 7
10. Bongani Ndalula - 8
11. Tokelo Rantie - 8
12. Sibusiso Vilakazi - 6.5
13. Reneilwe Letsholonyane - 6.5
14. Kermit Erasmus - 6.5