BAFANA Bafana played to a goalless draw against Senegal in an international friendly match held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban last night.
The clash started with a moment of silence observed for former South African international football player, Thabang Lebese who recently passed away.
Boosted by the visit of King Goodwill Zwelithini and the Premier of KwaZulu Natal Zweli Mkhize as well SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani to their dressing room prior to the match, Bafana Bafana started brightly and dominated proceedings from the first whistle.
With most of South Africa’s regulars returning after not being considered for the three matches in January (against Equatorial Guinea, Zambia and Ghana), the home side created good goal-scoring opportunities but their efforts were blocked by fine goal keeping from Senegal’s Bouna Coundoul.
Katlego Mphela, Thulani Serero and Teko Modise also tested Coundoul, but he stood firm.
May Mahlangu – who was playing his second match for South Africa after making his debut in January against Equatorial Guinea – came close in the ninth minute.
The Terranga Lions goal minder was the busier of the two goalkeepers as Bafana Bafana attacked relentlessly but still could not find the back of the net.
Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane handed newcomer Edward Manqele his first cap when he named the Free State Stars striker in the starting line-up.
Mosimane made a double substitution at the start of the second half with Thanduyise Khuboni and Punch Masenamela came on for Kagisho Dikgacoi and Tsepo Masilela respectively.
In the 68th minute captain Steven Pienaar, Thulani Serero and Edward Manqele made way for George Maluleka, Teko Modise and Lebohang Mokoena.
Bafana Bafana upped their pace as they continued their search for a goal, but it never came.
In the 85th minute Thami Sangweni also got his first cap for Bafana Bafana when replaced May Mahlangu.
“The South Africans showed they are good side, were very tactical in their approach and attacked us throughout. They have a great team spirit. In the first half the idea was to defend because South Africa was very strong in attack and we were hoping to catch them on a counter in a second half. But I am also happy with my players, most of them youngsters for the future as we are in a restructuring phase,” said Senegal coach Abdoukarime Diouf.
Mosimane was disappointed with the draw but encouraged by the performance of his charges.
“These boys did very well, and had the right attitude – that of wanting to win. We kept on the pressure and created a lot of chances. The players gave their best but they found their keeper in an uncompromising mood – he denied us victory. But all we need is to convert the chances we create because this team is playing very well,” said Mosimane.
This is how they lined up:
Itumeleng Khune; Anele Ngcongca, Bongani Khumalo, Morgan Gould, Tsepo Masilela (Punch Masenamela 46’), Steven Pienaar (George Maluleka 68’), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Khuboni 46’), May Mahlangu (Thami Sangweni 85’), Thulani Serero (Teko Modise 68’), Katlego Mphela, Edward Manqele (Lebohang Mokoena 68’)
Coundoul; J. Faty, Ba, P. Gueye, Souare, I. Gueye, Diame (Kouyate 56’), R. Faty (Thioune 88’), N’Diaye (Diabang 64’), Konate (Diop 90+5’), N’Doye (Badji 72’)
Referee: R. Ruzive (Zimbabwe).-Safa.net