Bafana Bafana have kept a clean sheet since they began the African Safari under the tutelage of new mentor Ephraim Shakes Mashaba. On Saturday, they crushed Congo Brazaville. As things stood even up to the end of the first half, the white clad Bafana outfit looked destined for a goalless draw against the hosts. The hosts seemed prepared to repel all the attacks that were masterminded by the southern African nation, which led to some levels of frustration in the visiting bench and field of play respectively. As a matter of fact, there were several minutes when the Central African team launched well constructed and initiated attacks of their own, which caused untold suffering for the Mshaba led dugout.
When the referee of the day called for an orange break, it was time for the coaches to have pep talks with their teams and to offer valuable and practical advice for the players. This seemed to work for the South African outfit because no sooner had they taken to the field in the second half than things began to happen. A stylish kick in the 52nd minute by striker, Bongani Ndulula, led to the first goal of the match and the beginning of Congo’s first defeat in these qualifiers. A few minutes later, Dean Furman spotted fellow English league player Tokelo Rantie unmarked and passed him the ball and the latter made no mistake in punishing the hosts with a brilliant goal. The home team came out with both barrels blazing as they launched on attack after another in an attempt to cheat defeat. However, South African captain and goal minder led from the front and pulled marvelous saves in order to retain their clean slate in the tournament. In additional time, it appeared that they had actually been rewarded were it not for the assistant referee who adjudged that it had been from an offside position that the goal had been scored.
Speaking to the media after the match, Mashaba cautioned his players against being complacent, adding that they needed to keep their feet on the ground as they go into a return fixture against the Central African country of Congo Brazaville on Wednesday. In another Group A match, home team Sudan managed secure their first will in the qualifiers when they scored a last minute score the game’s solitary goal. They will be traveling to Nigeria for a return fixture.