Bafana still control own destiny

2014-10-15 22:00

Polokwane - South Africa's Africa Cup of Nations celebrations were put on ice as Congo-Brazzaville survived a late flurry to hold out for a goalless group A draw in Polokwane on Wednesday night.

As it happened: Bafana v Congo

On a night where a win would have secured a place at the continental showpiece for Shakes Mashaba and his troops, Congo did enough to ensure a share of the spoils at a soaking wet Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Mandla Masango had a goal disallowed four minutes from the end for offside, 20 minutes after Congo also saw their celebrations cut short due to a goal from an offside position.

Although not guaranteed yet, Bafana Bafana remain in control of group A with eight points, consolidating top spot, which they stole from Congo four days prior in Pointe Noire.

Mashaba and his outfit will need a result from their remaining fixtures against Sudan, at home, and Nigeria, away, with the all-important 10-point mark the next assignment.

A break down the line and then along the goal-line signalled the first chance for the hosts as Tokelo Rantie ran riot behind the defence.

A block from the defence let Congo off the hook but Bafana were in control during the opening exchanges.

Bafana were wrestled onto the back foot for the first time after 35 minutes from a dangerous set-piece, forcing Senzo Meyiwa into a brilliant last ditch save to deny Delvin Ndinga.

A tentative rest of the half followed as Bafana relied on a patient build-up, hoping to catch Congo on the break.

A block from a trio of South African defenders thwarted highly-rated Thievy Bifouma, but that was to be the closest either side came as the opening half came to an end.

Not even a massive bolt of lightning, which made landfall just outside the arena, could spark a chance for South Africa.

A cloudburst during the interval followed, leaving a soggy Peter Mokaba pitch and a depleted Polokwane crowd, which ran for cover.

Despite the rain, South Africa stuck to their guns and continued to bomb the Congo defence with a number of high balls, while Rantie made a nuisance of himself in attack.

Ferebory Dore's goal was disallowed for offside after the hour mark, the same player flashed wide with his header, before Oupa Manyisa failed to keep his shot down shortly after coming on to replace Thulani Serero.

Masango then found himself with the ball at his feet in the 77th minute, the Kaizer Chiefs flier narrowly pushing his shot past the far post in what was South Africa's standout chance.

South Africa were back on top as the clock wound down the final 10 minutes. Second-half replacement, Kermit Erasmus, struck the side-netting after a stunning piece of link-up between Andile Jali and Sibusiso Vilakazi.

Masango sent the home supporters into a state of wild celebrations just minutes from the end, but Manyisa had strayed into an offside position before providing Masango with the pass, the assistant referee correctly flagging for offside.

That was to be the last action as Congo held on for dear life.

South Africa host Sudan in mid-November, before travelling to the ever-tricky Nigeria shortly after.

South Africa: Meyiwa, Hlatshwayo, Mathoho, Coetzee, Khumalo, Furman, Jali, Masango, Serero (Manyisa 67’), Rantie (Vilakazi 80’), Ndulula (Erasmus 63’)

Congo: Massa, F N’Ganga (Boukama 77’), Baudry, Moutou, I Nganga, Ngonga, Ndinga, Oniangue, Gandze, Dore, Bifouma


  • Madimetja Dmax Mashao - 2014-10-15 22:18

    Our midfielders were very poor today with their forward play,especially Thulani Serero,maybe he was thinking about the Barcelona game next week,the less said about our strikers the better,the quick smooth passing was non-existent.We got the point but Shakes still has a lot of work to do.

  • Siyanda.Mda - 2014-10-15 22:20

    Though we would have been happy with all three points at home, we will take one point - and stay top of the group. No matter what happens in the other game between Sudan and Nigeria, we remain top. The last two rounds of matches will be a challenge - one against Sudan and the other against Nigeria. All the best boys.

  • Mfundo Zungu - 2014-10-15 22:26

    @Jose Perrota, your argument is flawed mate, at the end of the day Arsenal had the same strikers for both fixtures against Villa, thus, applying your logic, FIFA should investigate them for bribery and corruption... Just stupid, negative and immature. However I'm going to leave it at that as clearly you are making comments to either get likes or ignite a reaction which I will not entertain further.

  • Warren Hirst - 2014-10-15 23:12

    please show the table when reporting on football

  • Stanley Mashamba - 2014-10-16 01:00

    that,s better because we need 10 points to qualify and the chance is still there.

  • Luthando Yaso - 2014-10-16 03:08

    Both Pitso and Gordon started like this.Remember where they ended,I'm beginning to worry now.

      Marko Lasene - 2014-10-16 04:47

      You are right Luthando, Nigerians are not strong and Congo is not a soccer power house on the continent. If Bafana Bafana qualify 'which is not guaranteed) they won't go far. They are not a bunch of loosers but they are not a strong team neighter. Do you see them beating Cameroon, Egypt, DR Congo?

      Luthando Yaso - 2014-10-16 06:05

      Well said Marko, they aren't strong at all.A strong team doesn't draw at home

  • Bento Maepa - 2014-10-16 05:29

    Holding 'me' fingers crossed.

  • Armando Guerra - 2014-10-16 05:39

    as much as we love them Im still doubtful, I dont see potential, they still play their old style that never gets us anywhere. anyway, good luck!

  • Hell Gate - 2014-10-16 06:19

    It's early days for Bafana, too early to judge their competence... They have a long way to go. The true test is yet to come, to test the players and the coach........It's not an easy task and will always be an uphill battle...

  • Anele Booi - 2014-10-16 06:20

    We need more white soccer players thou please my white people start to play soccer

  • John Stoltz - 2014-10-16 06:46

    Let Shakes select whom he pleased, and let the same be done by Heineke!! Get Fikile a free tour to Antartika so he does not politicize South African rugby, and turn them into another Bafana!! Well done Bafane, we are holding thumbs for you!!

  • Joan Mbele - 2014-10-16 07:01

    Plz South Africans b patient n lets encourage them. Plz dont dwell on the past. Our past was horrible. Dont use all those words. Dont remind them. Just encourage them. When yo child is not doing well at school do u tell her that she discouraging u or shes a loser. Shakes is a good coach . You can c the light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Omega Zinjah Khubone - 2014-10-16 07:30

    I am reading comments from "a bunch of pessimists"!!!

  • Mcebisi Mvundlela - 2014-10-16 07:59

    Had it not been for Mashaba wanting to play young players only, I still think he could have played Yeye and see how things could have unfolded. You need an experienced guys to showcase their experiences on the field..A draw is that bad though I wished for better results more than a draw

  • Malesela Dikhoba - 2014-10-16 09:23

    Our left and right backs were not mobile enough didnt offer support to Serero and Masango on the wings we missed Thabo Matlaba,maybe Shakes should have started with Kermit and Vila.We should be winning at home but still there with a chance to qualify.

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