Bafana crash out of CHAN

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana have crashed out of the 2014 CHAN tournament after they suffered an embarrassing 3-1 defeat in the hands of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, in the last Group A match played at the Cape Town stadium on Sunday night.

Since1992, Bafana Bafana has only managed to beat Nigeria once in eight matches. The home-team came to the match with their hopes of progressing to the last eight hanging in the balance following their 1-all draw against Mali last Wednesday. With this important win, the Super Eagles are progressing to the last eight.

Bafana started the match very offensive and quick in transition play going forward with some brilliant moves of Lindokuhle Mbatha, who was connecting very well with Bernard Parker in the Nigeria box, but they failed to hurt their opponents. 

At one stage, Mbatha connected Parker with a nice pass in the box, but the Bafana forward hit it straight into Chigozie Agbim's hands.

Efianyi Ede should have put the West Africans on the lead in the 11th minute, but he failed to convert the cross played into Bafana’s box.

It took the Nigerians 22 minutes to test and beat Moeneeb Josephs as Bafana were dictating the match, but a cross by Ede on the right flank connected very well with Ejike Uzoenyi, who scored the first goal for Nigeria.

South Africa’s hope of progressing to the next stage of the CHAN tournament faded fast after poor goalkeeping by Josephs spilled the ball, giving away a silly penalty to the Super Eagles.

Ede took a grass-cutter to put his side on the lead on the 32nd minute. The goal forced Bafana coach Gordon Igesund to sacrifice one of his defensive midfielders with a striker.

He replaced Matthew Pattison and brought in the Mamelodi Sundown’s top striker, Katlego Mashego.

Three minutes before half-time, Mashego made his presence felt following his brilliant combination with Siphiwe Tshabalala in the Super Eagles box, but his shot went wide, much to the disappointment to the local fans.

An indication that Igesund was looking for an early goal in the second half, he replaced Sibusiso Vilakazi and brought in Lerato Chabangu.

As Bafana were pushing forward, Nigeria nearly punish them with a counter-attack, but Josephs denied Ede to score the third goal.

With South Africa keeping the pressure on the Nigerians, Agbim denied Mashego a goal when he tried to beat him with a curler. 

 

The West Africans proved that there were on the top gear against the hosts, when Ejike Uzoenyi scored the third goal for this country on the 64th minute.

On the 71st minute, Uzoenyi unleashed a shot which beat Josephs but was denied by the woodwork to increase the score margin.

South Africans were happy when Solomon Kwambe was shown a red for his late tackle on Tebogo Langerman, but this was short-lived when Vuyo Mere received marching orders for a similar foul.

When Mashego was brought down in the box, the referee did not hesitate to point it to the spot. Parker took the penalty to make it 3-1.

Meanwhile, in the other match played simultaneously at Athlone stadium, Mali beat Mozambique 2-1 to finish on top of the group with seven points to progress to the quarter-finals.

Igesund made four changes from his team that drew 1-1 with Mali. Itumeleng Khune was ruled out earlier in the week through injury and was replaced in goal by Moeneeb Josephs.

In defence, Igesund made two changes, with Kaizer Chiefs' Tefu Mashamaite and Mamelodi Sundown’s Tebogo Langerman replacing Buhle Mkhwanazi and Thato Mokeke.

In midfield, Sibusiso Vilakazi was recalled to the team and came in at the expense of Edward Manqele.

South Africa team: Moeneeb Josephs, Vuyo Mere, Thabo Nthethe (captain), Tefu Mashamaite, Tebogo Langerman, Hlompho Kekana, Matthew Pattison, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Lindokuhle Mbatha, Bernard Parker.

Nigeria starting line-up: Chigozie Agbim, Solomon Kwambe, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Odunlami Kunle, Erhun Obanor, Bright Eseme, Rabiu Ali, Abullahi Shehu, Ejike Uzoenyi, Gbolahan Salami and Ifeanyi Ede. - SAnews.gov.za

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