Out-of-sorts Bafana Bafana hold Mozambique to a draw

Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba. Picture: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images
Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba.
Picture: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

A flat Bafana Bafana held a lively Mozambique to a 1-1 draw in last night’s international friendly at Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto in Maputo.

Clesio Banque put Mozambique ahead in the 26th minute.

Substitute Bradley Grobler equalised in the 56th.

Following a stirring 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory against Senegal in Polokwane on Saturday, then the suspension on Sunday of coach Shakes Mashaba for an ill-advised televised rant at SA Football Association president Danny Jordaan after the game, Bafana never looked much up for this friendly.

After a poor first half, the South Africans did improve markedly in the second. SA’s technical staff, led by assistant coach Owen da Gama, made eight changes from the team that beat Senegal.

This included the withdrawn trio of Rivaldo Coetzee (ankle injury) and Andile Jali and Thabo Matlaba, who the SA Football Association tweeted were unavailable, without disclosing the reason.

Ronwen Williams replaced Itumeleng Khune at goalkeeper and in a makeshift defence Ramahlwe Mphahlele was on the right, Clayton Daniels alongside Mulomowandau Mathoho at centre-back, and captain and right-back Thulani Hlatshwayo employed on the left.

For Mozambique, the pace of Bidvest Wits forward Elias Pelembe let Telinho and Clesio at times open this defensive structure with ease in the first half, profiting just once.

Williams came out of his area to intercept Telinho’s chip forward but could not connect, allowing Pelembe through. But, distracted by Daniels, he could only hit the left upright.

Clesio buried the ricochet.

Telinho missed a free header and open goal in the 31st. Da Gama introduced Keagan Dolly, Asavela Mbekile and Bradley Grobler – for debutant Lars Veldwijk – from half time.

Mphahlele got on the end of a chip into the area on the right but slipped and could not control.

Grobler ran through to sweep in the loose ball.

With the SA defence again in disarray, Pelembe missed yet another open goal for the Mambas when he struck the crossbar in the 62nd.

From Dolly’s corner Daniels struck the bar with a volley with two minutes remaining.

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