Orlando - Bafana Bafana will head to the 2015 Africa
Cup of Nations still unbeaten under coach Shakes Mashaba after a 1-0 victory
over Zambia at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Thuso Phala came on in the second half to score in the 80th
minute in the friendly match against the 2012 AFCON champions.
Bafana ensured a perfect send-off and are now set to depart
for the AFCON championship in Equatorial Guinea starting January 17.
The Zambians came out the stronger of the two teams in the
opening minutes with Rainford Kalaba and Emmanuel Mayuka stringing passes
together with pace and flair.
Chipolopolo came out with the intention to assert themselves
and on the right flank Lubambo Musonda beat three challengers to lay-off Mayuka
running into the home team's territory.
Mayuka played through Kondwani Mtonga, who miscued his
strike wide of Bafana goalkeeper Darren Keet.
After a lukewarm start, Bafana began to gather momentum with
Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Thamsanqa Sangweni in the thick of things dictating
the play in central midfield.
Winger Mandla Masango was the recipient of a pass by
Sangweni from midfield and drove it into the box but was dispossessed by a
Davies Nkausu tackle.
In the 17th minute defender Anele Ngcongca made a dashing
run from the back to feed through striker Tokelo Rantie, whose shot whizzed
over the target.
From the left flank Oupa Manyisa delivered a delectable
cross into the box that missed the flying boot of Thabo Matlaba in the 33rd
The encounter went into the half-time break with both teams
having failed to get onto the score-sheet.
In the second half wholesale changes were made to contest
the period under a different make-up.
Ngcongca ended-up in a good advanced position in the 56th
minute after Rantie nicked the ball to him. But Ngcongca’s strike snap-shot in
the box was saved by substitute goalkeeper Donashano Malama.
The Zambians lost some steam in the later stages of the
match with Bafana taking control of the clash.
With the match seemingly headed for a stalemate, the nimble
Phala came onto the pitch and made the difference after an assist from Sibusiso
Phala would then provide an assist for striker Bernard
Parker, but his tap-in was adjudged to have been offside in the last minute of