Bafana to face Mambas

2012-09-10 10:32

Johannesburg - Fresh from falling to a hard-fought 1-0 defeat away to Brazil on Friday night, South Africa will continue their preparations for the upcoming 2013 Africa Cup of Nations when they host Mozambique at the Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday night.
Hulk’s 75th minute goal handed the five-time FIFA Soccer World Cup winners a narrow win over Bafana Bafana in which the visitors gave a good account of themselves in Gordon Igesund’s first match in charge.
Nonetheless, the team will know that while they gave an encouraging performance, there are definitely aspects of their game which need improving on. This friendly against ‘The Mambas’ presents Igesund and Bafana with an opportunity to do just that.
Bafana will be short of options up front after the injuries suffered by Benni McCarthy and Dino Ndlovu against Brazil, meaning that Thamsanqa Gabuza and Bernard Parker are the only fit forwards. Igesund has opted against calling further replacements into the squad at such short notice.
Mozambique will come into the game against Bafana full of confidence after a 2-0 home win over Morocco in the first leg of their final round 2013 AFCON qualifier on Sunday. Goals from Almiro Lobo and Elias Pelembe - two players South African football fans will be familiar with from their time in the PSL - handed the Mambas a win which has put them firmly on the path to qualify for SA 2013.
The visitors may opt to field a changed line-up as compared to one that did duty against Morocco, seeing as they will have little time to recover physically, but Bafana should still be presented with a good test by our neighbours.
South Africa and Mozambique have met on three previous occasions, all of which have gone in favour of the former. Bafana have won two friendlies on home soil, 3-2 in 1995 and 2-0 in 2008, while one match in Maputo, a Cosafa Cup first round match in 2001, was won 3-0.