Bafana off to a winning start

Saturday, January 11, 2014
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Bafana Bafana got off to their perfect start of their 2014 CHAN tournament with a convincing 3-1 victory against the Mambas of Mozambique at the opening match played at Cape Town stadium on Saturday evening. 

The first five minutes saw Bafana Bafana on the Mozambican half, but failed to get an early goal as the solid defence of the visiting team kept them at bay.

A promising moment came in the 9th minute but Bernard Parker’s shot out of the box was very weak and never troubled the Mozambican goalkeeper, Soarito.

The visitors threatened to upset Gordon Igesund boys with an early goal from Diogo who grass cutter shot deflected off Mokeke into the back of the net, leaving Khune frustrated.

The goal sparked Bafana to life as they continued to put their opponents under pressure just outside the box, but they kept on disappointing their home fans with their poor finishing.

South Africa got a free kick on the 26th minute after Tshabalala was brought down just out the box, but Mashego wasted the opportunity to equalise when his strike went wide and very high.

However, as Bafana kept on putting pressure at the Mozambican box, Lobo brought down Parker in the box and the referee did not hesitate to award Bafana a penalty.

As always, Parker did not disappoint. He converted the penalty easily bringing the silent Cape Town stadium to life once again.

South Africa should have taken the lead on the 35th minute when Mashego receive a nice cross from Tshabalala, but the Mamelodi Sundowns striker was unfortunate as his tap-in comes off the woodwork.

Mozambique was lucky to go into the half-time break without conceding a second goal as it was a one way traffic as Bafana were all over them teaching them a free football lesson.

In the first minute of the second half, Mashego was left with the Mambas of Mozambique goalkeeper, Soarito who denied him to put South Africa on the lead.

Gordon Igesund replaced Chabangu with Lindokuhle Mbatha, a wise move which saw Bafana getting a second goal.

Hlompho Kekana put South Africa on the lead in the 58th minute when he took a shot  from far which gave Soarito no chance.

Igesund made his second substitution of the match on the 74th minute when he made Mashego to make way for Asavela Mbekile.

With Mbatha doing great business for Bafana on the right flank, Parker scored his second goal on the 81 minute after receiving a pass from Tshabalala. Vilakazi made way for his Wits teammate, Mathew Pattison on the 85th minute.

Itumeleng Khune, Bryce Moon, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thabo Nthethe, Hlompho Kekana, Lerato Chabangu, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Thato Mokeke, Bernard Parker and Katlego Mashego.

Mozambique starting line-up: Soarito, Monis, Khan, Chico II, Miro, Josimar, Alvarito, Kito, Diogo, Sonito and Lanito.

South Africa is on Group A along with Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique. Bafana have met their neighbours, Mozambique four times, but Bafana have won all the games.

South Africa finished 4th in the 2011 edition of the Chan tournament held in