Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba says his side were better from a tactical point of view in their friendly clash against Zambia at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday.
Bafana won the clash 1-0 after a late strike from substitute Thuso Phala, who came on in the second half to help boost his team against the 2012 AFCON champions.
Speaking to Soccer-Laduma after the match, Mashaba said: "They were very determined to come here and break our momentum, it was a
good game, tactically we were more superior than them of course and
unfortunately we couldn't finish up the goals we wanted to score.
"And fatigue was taking it's toll in the last 12-13 minutes of the
game, you could have seen all the players looking at their legs and
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
Bafana ensured a perfect send-off and are now set to depart
for the AFCON championship in Equatorial Guinea starting on January 17.
South Africa: Keet (Khuzwayo 62'), Ngcongca, Matlaba
(Hlatshwayo 86'), Mathoho, Coetzee, Sangweni (Zwane 52'), Letsholonyane
(Vilakazi 58'), Masango (Phala 74'), Manyisa, Ndulula (Parker 44'), Rantie
Zambia: Mweene (Munyao 45'), Nkausu, Musonda (Mulenga 62'),
Mtonga, Sunzu (Munthali 55'), Kabwe, Sinkala (Sautu 88'), Lungu (Chamanga 57'),
Kalaba, Singuluma, Mayuka (Mwanza 45')