Bafana gets standing ovation for beating Burkina Faso

Saturday, August 17, 2013
Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg - South African rugby and soccer fans gave Bafana Bafana a standing ovation following the home team’s 2-nil convincing victory against Burkina Faso in the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day friendly match at the FNB stadium on Saturday.

Bafana’s two goals were scored by Siphiwe Tshabalala who also scooped the man of the match award. As the champions of the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day, Bafana received gold medals and a trophy.

Bafana head coach, Gordon Igesund introduced new faces to his team against Burkina Faso as an attempt to continue building the side for the future.

He left out experienced left back Masilela and introduced 25-year-old Amazulu left back defender Van Heerden. Other experienced players who started from the bench were Chabangu, Manyama and Mathoho.

However, the West Africans came without key players such as Bakary Kone, Charles Kabore, Paul Koulibaly and top strikers Jonathan Pitriopa and Aristide Bance. However, they brought a team comprised of their local based players who will represent their country in the upcoming CHAN 2014 finals to kick off in January in South Africa.

While Bafana Bafana are ranked 67th in the world and 12th in the African continent, their opponents are ranked number seven in the continent and 48th in the world.

With the roaring sounds of vuvuzelas, Bafana started the match with an offensive attack to the visitors and their consistent ball possession paid off in the 22nd minute.

Following a brilliant run and nice one-two passes by Bafana players led by Zungu and Mathebula, Tshabalala took a low drive shot into the bottom left corner, making the home crowd to erupt into singing shosholoza.

As Bafana continued with their offensive attack, the jubilant fans started cheering the players with Mexican waves.

Although Bafana Bafana continued to dominate the match, they went into the half-time break still leading the West Africans by one goal to nil. Pierre was the first to get a yellow card after he brought down Mathebula on the right flank in the 52nd minute.

Igesund brought in Lebogang Manyama and substituted Zungu in the 55th minute and few minutes later, he replaced Mathebula with Chabangu. The two substitutes ignited Bafana’s winning spirit as they continue to create more goal scoring opportunities but still failed to find the back of the net.

Burkina Faso made the substitution in the 60th minute when they replaced Dumarou with Valentina. In the 69th minute, Igesund was forced to make another change after Mkhwanazi sustained an injury, which brought in Gumede.

With eight minutes left before the Zimbabwean referee, Norman Matemera blew the final whistle, Igesund replaced Bafana’s goal scorer, Tshabalala and brought in Nomandela, who increased South Africa’s tally in the 91st minute.

Bafana and Burkina Faso teams

SA starting XI: Itumeleng Khune, Thabo Nthethe, Hlompho Kekana, Siphiwe Tshabalala, David Mathebula, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Marc van Heerden, Bernard Parker, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Bongani Zungu.

Substitutes: Wayne Sandilands, Tshepo Masilela, Luyolo Nomandela, Lebogang Manyama, Lerato Chabangu, Eric Mathoho, Thuso Phala and Bevan Fransman.

Burkina Faso starting XI: Kabore Mohamed, Sango Alassane, Gouo Issa, Daila Pierre, Dayo Issouf, Traore Aboubacar Sidiki, Zebro Adama, Tiendrebeogo Ipias, Bayala Cyrille and Nebie Dumarou.

Substitutes: Kante Amidou, Kafando Martin, Coulibaly Yaya Darlaine, Zoungrana Valentina, Soma Jean, Kabore Issouf and Yameogo Simplice.

Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day

Mandela Sport and Culture Day is part of the massive social cohesion and nation building campaign announced by President Jacob Zuma as part of the celebration of the 95th Birthday Celebrations of former President Nelson Mandela.

In a day of cultural extravaganza, the international encounter was preceded by a friendly match between South African Masters and their Italian counterparts. SA lost the match 2-nil. After the Bafana match, both the rugby and soccer fans will enjoy the rugby test match between South Africa’s national team, the Springboks and Argentina.

Music Concert

Later today, the much anticipated concert will kick off at 7pm. The Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day star-studded artist line-up includes popular Mali singer, Salif Keita, David Jenkins, Mahotela Queens, Umoja, Gcina Mhlophe, Black Coffee, DJ Alessandro, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Wouter Kellerman, Naima McLean, DJ Cindo, Mafikizolo, Toya DeLazy, Kurt Darren and Elvis Blue.

The proceeds from the inaugural Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day will go towards building the Nelson Mandela Children's hospital in Gauteng. -