The South African national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, produced a scintillating performance to draw against a very physical Cameroonian national team, fondly termed the Indomitable Lions by it legion of fans in Libreville, the capital of Gabon. The match was played on Saturday as part of the teams’ preparations for the CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Finals which commence on the 17th of January and end on the 8th of February, 2015 in Equatorial Guinea.
The match started at a fast pace, which is characteristic of the Cameroonians and they were almost rewarded immediately after kick off but the brilliant Brilliant Khuzwayo was on hand to parry the effort out of play. He was, however, not so lucky as in the 7th minute, Vincent Aboubacar unleashed a strike so brilliant that it gave the young goal minder no chance whatsoever. This goal ushered the Lions into the lead and had it been any other team, that would have been the end of the story and a return to the drawing board. However, this was Bafana Bafana under the capable mentorship of Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba and they were not to throw in the towel and go home. They fought back hard and were almost rewarded a few minutes from the half time whistle. Veteran striker Bernard Parker and the rest of Bafana Bafana watched in agony as his effort at goal sailed just wide off the mark in what would have been a brilliant equaliaser. Cameron could only breath a great sigh of relief.
When the players came back from the oranges, the South African national team was a totally different animal altogether. Instead of allowing the Indomitable Lions to dominate them with their physic, they started using their speed and agility to their advantage. They literally ran the Cameroonians into the ground and were rewarded for their efforts in the 77th minute when Sibusiso Vilakazi, from Bidvest Wits, effortlessly breezed through the Lions’ defence and easily placed the ball in the back of the net. It was, by all standards, a brilliant goal and deserving of a player of Sibusiso’s calibre. To cap of the South African’s outstanding performance in the second half, the team almost scored a winning goal just before the end of the match when Thuso Phala made an outstanding run on the left side of the field and made a brilliant cross into the box. There was, however, not a single Bafana Bafana player to just nudge the ball home for a winning goal.
According to the Bafana Bafana bench, the team will continue their preparations for the finals with another friendly match against Mali on Wednesday, the 14th of January, 2015.