Bafana settle for draw with Algeria

Algeria captain Yacine Brahimi is challenged by Thabang Monare of South Africa during their Fifa Series friendly at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algeria.
Algeria captain Yacine Brahimi is challenged by Thabang Monare of South Africa during their Fifa Series friendly at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algeria.
Image: Djaffar Ladjal

Bafana Bafana’s failure to manage the game saw them settle for a 3-3 draw with Algeria in their Fifa Series friendly match played at the Stade Nelson Mandela in Algiers on Wednesday morning. 

Bafana led twice in the match but allowed the Fennec Foxes to claw their way back,  and they were denied what could have been a morale boosting win ahead of the Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe in June. 

South Africa registered a brace from influential midfielder Themba Zwane and one in the second half from substitute attacker Elias Mokwana that deflected from Iqraam Rayners,  but coach Hugo Broos will be disappointed they did not make their dominance count. 

Broos made wholesale changes from the makeshift team that disappointed in the 1-1 draw with European minnows Andorra last week. 

Against the Algerians, Broos recalled some of the big guns such as captain Ronwen Williams, Siyanda Xulu, Grant Kekana, Zwane, Teboho Mokoena and Aubrey Modiba to the starting line-up. 

South Africa created the first chance inside three minutes when attacker Oswin Appollis rattled the crossbar from close range after he connected with a Nyiko Mobbie cross that deflected a pass from an Algerian defender. 

Algeria opened the scoring after 22 minutes when captain Yacine Brahimi led their swift counter attack that resulted in the ball laid on the path of Yassine Benzia, who put it in the back of the net. 

Brahimi’s quick thinking allowed Algeria to force Bafana to defend with fewer numbers and Kekana and Mokoena found it difficult to stop Benzia, whose shot ended up in the back of the net. 

Bafana pulled one back after 33 minutes through Zwane to push the ball home after he received a cross from Mihlali Mayambela. 

For the equaliser, Mokoena dispossessed Brahimi in the midfield and the ball fell for Rayners, who laid to Zwane.

Zwane controlled the ball before laying it to Mayambela, who returned the favour with the return pass and the Sundowns captain did the rest. 

Bafana took the lead during optional time of the first half when Zwane produced a moment of magic to beat an Algerian defender before putting the ball with a well-taken left-footed strike past goalkeeper Moustafa Zeghba. 

Algeria equalised after 52 minutes by taking advantage of a schoolboy error by Williams, who misplaced his pass to Benzia and the Algerian attacker released unmarked Brahimi to do the rest. 

Bafana retook the lead after 65 minutes when substitute Elias Mokwana rifled a shot that deflected off the back of Rayners past Zeghba, but Benzia registered his brace five minutes later with a clever overhead kick. 


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