Cape Town - South Africa took full advantage of a slice of good fortune
to beat Senegal 2-1 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Peter Mokaba
Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon.
Two goals in the space of four first-half minutes by the
hosts sealed their place atop Group D with Bafana Bafana finally bringing an
end to their barren run on home soil.
Senegal flexed their muscles early on, but would fall a goal
behind in the 43rd minute through rather unfortunate circumstances - the referee
adjudging that Kalidou Koulibaly had handled
the ball when in fact Eleazar Rodgers' header attempt hit his knee.
It mattered little for Thulani
Hlatshwayo, though, with the Bafana Bafana captain finding the back of the net
from 12 yards - Abdoulaye Diallo had guessed the right way, but the
shot had enough venom to squeeze past the Senegalese goal-minder.
Thulani Serero made it 2-0 in
the first minute of added time. Neat interplay between Keagan Dolly and Mpho
Makola setting up up the Ajax Amsterdam midfielder who hit home at the first
time of asking.
Clearly pumped up by what they
felt was an unjust decision by the match official, the Teranga Lions came out
firing after the break.
Moussa Konate and Mame
Biram Diouf missed gilt-edged chances for the visitors before the West
Africans finally found their goal through Cheikh N'Doye in the 76th
The French-based midfielder
hammered home from close range following some nervy defending by the
Senegal continued to notch up
the pressure with Itumeleng Khune forced into a great save with three minutes
remaining as South Africa eventually held on for all three points. Next up for Bafana Bafana is a clash against
Cape Verde on August 28.