Cape Town - Bafana Bafana secured AFCON qualification after handing Sudan a 2-1 defeat courtesy of Thulani Serero and Tokelo Rantie goals.
As it happened: Bafana v Sudan
Shakes Mashaba will breathe a sigh of relief following a nervy end to a satisfactory performance by Bafana Bafana.
Dean Furman was handed the captain’s armband following the death of Senzo Meyiwa while Darren Keet filled the void between the goal post.
It took South Africa the bulk of first half to break the Sudan's defence following a blistering run from Sibusiso Khumalo on the left flank to slide the ball into the path of Thulani Serero, who calmly finished the move off giving Bafana Bafana the lead going into half-time.
Eight minutes into the second half, coach Mashaba would be smiling from ear to ear again after a well-constructed goal by Bafana’s offence. Serero was again involved as he found space and played the ball into the path of Tokelo Rantie, who opened up his boot and placed the ball into the top corner.
Sudan however were not going to go down without a fight as Salah Ibrahim caught South Africa’s defence asleep and pulled one back, issuing an anxious end for sold out Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Bafana could have scored more goals as Bongani Ndulula squandered two easy chances, one of which should have hit the back of the net but the AmaZulu striker’s accuracy was off target.
Serero looked much more comfortable in his ‘number 10’ role as he and Rantie form a natural understanding in attack.
Furman and Andile Jali’s partnership in midfield is growing stronger by the game but one can only think that Bafana were playing a Sudan side ranked 107th on the FIFA ranking system. Next week’s Nigeria trip will be a much sterner test if Mashaba does not rotate his squad with qualification already in the bag.
Bafana Bafana ratings:
1. Darren Keet - 7
2. Anele Ngcongca - 6.5
3. Eric Mathoho - 6
4. Rivaldo Coetzee - 6
5. Sibusiso Khumalo - 6.5
6. Dean Furman - 7
7. Andile Jali - 7
8. Oupa Manyisa - 6.5
9. Thulani Serero -7.5
10. Tokelo Rantie - 7.5
11. Bongani Ndulula - 5
12. Moeketsi Sekola - 5.5
13. Reneilwe Letsholonyane - 5.5