MATCH CENTRE

WED 15 OCTOBER 2014, 20:00, PETER MOKABA STADIUM

0
VS
0

Bafana celebrations on ice

by Bertin Basson

Wed October 15, 22:06

A plucky Congo outfit held Bafana Bafana to a goalless draw in a 2015 Africa of Nations qualifier at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday evening.

South Africa knew a win would book their place in the finals next year, but Bafana Bafana were ultimately held to a goalless draw by the 'Red Devils'.

South Africa's preparations were slightly disrupted heading into the game, with Sibusiso Khumalo called into the starting XI after Thabo Matlaba failed a late fitness test on Wednesday morning.

Congo star player Thievy Bifouma spearheaded the 'Red Devils' attack while Prince Oniangue and Delvin Ndinga manned a mean looking midfield for the visitors.

The first shot in anger fell to Khumalo, who shot high and wide in the 15th minute, with both goalkeepers virtually unchallenged in the opening exchanges.

Mandla Masango laid a a free-kick short to the SuperSport United fullback, who skipped past one defender before blazing his left-footed effort high and wide.

Congo were at their best from set-pieces and it was from a corner in the 36th that Senzo Meyiwa was called into action for the first time.

Midfielder Delvin Ndinga rose highest and looked sure to score, but the Bafana Bafana captain made a superb diving save to deny Congo the lead.

Thunder and lighting arrived in the final minutes of the second-half, with it came a stale passage of play with the half ultimately ending without a goal.

The rain persisted in the second-half and it seemed as if Congo had adapted better to the wet conditions in Polokwane, as it was they who looked the more menacing in attack.

Fode Dore looked to have opened the scoring for the visitors just after the hour mark when he stabbed the ball in from close range, but the assistant referee's flag was raised for offside.

Dore then failed to make Bafana pay for poor marking in the 66th minute, glancing his header wide from close range.

The hosts were finding it difficult to break down the 'Red Devils', but went close to finding the back of the net via Mandla Masango, whose grass-cutter went inches wide of Massa's left hand post.

Shakes Mashaba had used up his subs with 10 minutes remaining, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Kermit Erasmus and Oupa Manyisa were all introduces as the hosts searched for the killer blow.

Masango finally had the ball in the back of the net for the hosts with two minutes to play, but celebrations were yet again cut short as the assistant referee's flag was once again elevated, offside.

Bafana remain top of Group A with eight points while Congo are on seven points after four rounds of fixtures.

South Africa next face Sudan before traveling to Calabar to take on defending AFCON champions Nigeria on November 19.

MATCH STATISTICS
MATCH VENUE REFEREE
GROUP STAGE PETER MOKABA STADIUM
SOUTH AFRICA GOALS CONGO GOALS
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
2 2
SOUTH AFRICA STARTING LINEUP CONGO STARTING LINEUP
Defender
0
Goalkeeper
0
Defender
0
0
Defender
58'
0
Defender
60'
0
Defender
77'
0
Midfielder
0
Defender
62'
0
Midfielder
0
Defender
0
Midfielder
0
Midfielder
87'
0
Midfielder
67'
0
Midfielder
0
Forward/Striker
63'
0
Midfielder
0
Forward/Striker
80'
0
Forward/Striker
0
Forward/Striker
0
SUBSTITUTIONS
Kermit Erasmus
Forward/Striker
63'
0
Jusly Gitel Boukama Kaya
Midfielder
77'
0
Oupa Manyisa
Midfielder
67'
0
Sibusiso Vilakazi
Midfielder
80'
0
CARDS
Sibusiso Khumalo
Defender
58'
0
Igor Nganga
Defender
62'
0
Thulani Hlatshwayo
Defender
60'
0
Cesaire Gandze
Midfielder
87'
0
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury
GALLERY
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