Bafana Bafana came from a goal down to get the better of a spirited side of Mozambique with a 2-1 scoreline at the Mbombela Stadium on Thursday night.
The new faces in Hugo Broos’ squad, Miguel Timm and Monnapule Saleng, who have been in fine form at the club level, got to start the match. Bongokuhle Hlongwane who recently came back from injury, bagged a brace, while Nelson Divrassone scored the goal for the visitors.
Early in the game, the captain of Bafana, Ronwen Williams made a school-boy error, giving away the ball to the opponents in a dangerous area, but the Mambas captain Stelio Ernesto failed to exploit the opportunity as he hit the post.
It was in the 12th minute, when Rushine De Reuck made a bad back pass to the goalie Williams, and Divrassone got to the ball first and capitalised, tapping into an empty net.
The visitors were enjoying the ball possession and dictating the play, as the home side was struggling to deal with the pressure.
South Africa’s midfield seemed somewhat dysfunctiona,l as the likes of Teboho Mokwena had a less than convincing performance, and couldn’t link with the playmaker, Themba Zwane and the forwards.
Mozambique also didn’t give Broos’ troops space to play freely. Towards the end of the first stanza, Bafana started to pick up, and broke the defence of Mozambique a couple of times, to create some goal-scoring opportunities.
However, the hosts couldn’t get the equaliser, and the game went to half-time with the visitors leading 1-0.
In the second half, the Mambas returned with the same pace, pressing Bafana Bafana who were still struggling to settle.
However, out of the blue, Hlongwane bagged himself a brace in the space of two minutes, in the 56th and 58th minutes, to put the hosts ahead. The two goals boosted Bafana Bafana’s morale as they started to look confident in ball possession.
Moments later, Broos introduced Kaizer Chiefs’ Kgaogelo Sekgota for Hlongwane, and the left winger added some spark offensively, particularly on the left side.
It was the home side that was throwing everything at the visitors, looking for a third goal towards the end of the match, but Mozambique held firm to stop Bafana from scoring again.
Broos got his third win in a row, and will be seeking the fourth when they tackle Angola on Sunday.
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