South Africa held by stubborn Libya

South Africa held by stubborn Libya
Kamohelo Mokotjo of South Africa challenged by Ahmed Fahim Ben Ali of Libya during the 2019 African Cup Of Nations Qualifier match between South Africa and Libya at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on 08 September 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Saturday Sep 08, 2018. 17:38

South Africa drew 0-0 with Libya in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification Group E match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

As a result, Bafana Bafana remained second on the Group E table and the Meditteranean Knights also remain at the top of the standings.

The match got off to a lively start with South Africa dominating possession and Dean Furman working tirelessly in midfield.

The midfield maestro nearly caught Libya goalkeeper Muhammad Nashnoush off his line with an audacious lob five minutes into the game.

However, his long-range effort sailed just over Nashnoush and the crossbar as Mediterranean Knights survived a scare.

The visitors looked dangerous on the counter-attack and they fired their first shot on target in the sixth minute.

Rabia Alshadi forced South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune into a great save with a well-taken shot.

The Mediterranean Knights were unfortunate not to open the scoring in the 15th minute as Mohamed Saltou hit the crossbar with Khune well-beaten.

Khune was then called into action by Ali Mohamed, whose long-range shot was well-saved by the experienced shot-stopper just before the half-hour mark.

The momentum was with South Africa after the half-hour mark as Percy Tau forced Nashnoush into a low save in the 36th minute.

However, Libya were able to contain Bafana Bafana and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter introduced in-form striker Bradley Grobler prior to the start of the second-half.

However, there was no supply for the marksman as in the opening stages of the second stanza with the visitors' defence looking solid.

The Meditteranean Knights had a chance to break the deadlock in the 66th minute after the Bafana defence was exposed.

Saltou burst into the South Africa box, but Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo made a crucial tackle before the forward could shoot at goal.

With the Libya defence looking impenetrable, Furman tried his luck from range in the 71st minute, but his shot was easily saved by Nashnoush.

Baxter introduced Aubrey Modiba in the closing stages of the game as the hosts looked to snatch a late winning goal.

S'fiso Hlanti delivered a good cross for Grobler, whose header went just over the crossbar in the dying minutes of the game.

Ultimately, the game ended in a 0-0 stalemate with Libya holding South Africa in Durban.

South Africa 0
Libya 0

South Africa: South Africa: Khune, Mphahlele, Hlanti, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Furman, Mokotjo, Vilakazi (Modiba 79'), Dolly, Pule (Grobler 46'), Tau.

Libya: Nashnoush, Almaghasi, Masaud, Elhouni, Ben Ali, Abdussalam, Eltrbi, Ali Mohammed, Sharadi (Ali Soulah 77'), Saltou (Baleid 88'), Alshadi (Muaid Ali 81').

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