Bata - South Africa played to a goalless draw with 2012 African Cup of Nations co-hosts Equatorial Guinea in a friendly international played at the 40 000-seater Nkoatoma Stadium in Bata City on Friday.
Bafana Bafana were without most of their regulars and coach Pitso Mosimane was forced to field a much depleted side which still gave the home team a run for their money. Notably he handed Sweden Player of the Year, May Mahlangu, his first Bafana start and the midfield gem did not disappoint as he showed signs of brilliance.
The Bafana debutant’s pace and skill proved to be a handful for the Equatorial Guinea defence who ended up resorting to hacking him down. The match was very physical, so much so that three Bafana players were cautioned in the first half. In a match dogged by dodgy decisions, skipper Morgan Gould was sent off after he protested to the referee following a foul on Mahlangu.
Having began the first half with Bradley Grobler as a lone striker, the going looked tough and it came as no surprise when Mosimane threw two new strikers into the fray, Nontshinga and Chapman in for Grobler and Scott respectively. The pair changed the complexion of the game and increased the game’s intensity.
The game’s physicality continued and coach Pitso Mosimane who remonstrated following a series of fouls and brawls was sent to the stands by the referee. The 10-man Bafana side still managed to hold on for a goalless stalemate.