SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

South Africa/Cape Verde: Disappointing Afcon Start for Bafana

Photo: Barry Aldworth/BackpagePix
Anele Ngcongca of South Africa, left, tangles with Heldon of Cape Verde during opening match of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Johannesburg — Bafana Bafana were held to a somewhat disappointing goalless draw in their opening match of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) by minnows Cape Verde, at the National Stadium, in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The draw is a huge achievement for the tournament debutants, but the results have put more pressure on Bafana who will find it difficult to beat Angola and Morocco in their next group A matches to be played at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on January 23 and 27 respectively.

With the partisan home supporters blowing vuvuzelas and singing shosholoza, Bafana Bafana started attacking the visitors from the first minute, but as always Bafana continued to miss easy goal scoring opportunities.

In an attempt to put Bafana ahead, Thuso Phala frustrated Santos Nivaldo with his brilliant run on the right flank until he brought him down just outside the box.

Tshabalala took the set piece, but Parker's header missed the target. With the National stadium abuzz with vuvulezas, Bafana continued to put more pressure to the Afcon debutants, but with no luck of finding the back of the net.

A sloppy defence in the 14th minutes nearly cost Bafana Bafana when Cape Verde player, Soares Luis's poor shot in the box missed the target by inches.

The home team also squandered another goal- scoring opportunity when Tshabalala took a set piece into the hands of the Cape Verde goal keeper after Majoro was brought down outside the box.

As the two teams continued not to trouble each other, they went to half-time break with no goal.

Bafana Coach Gordon Igesund replaced Kagisho Dikgacoi and brought in the sensational playmaker, Lerato Chabangu.

Chabangu revived Bafana's efforts to get a goal, but to no avail as they continued to miss opportunities.

There was no link between Bafana strikers and midfielders and their passes were always disappointing.

Igesund also substituted Majoro and brought in Katlego Mphela, but he too failed to get the back of the net.

Siphiwe Tshabalala, who was also disappointing with his passes, was replaced by Thulani Serero who put a lot of pressure on the Cape Verde defence.

South Africa's starting lineup included Itumeleng Khune, Siyabonga Sangweni, Bongani Khumalo, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Thabo Matlaba, Anele Ngcongca, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Thuso Phala, Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro.

Dias Josimar, Varela Fernando, Macedo Elvis, Neves Fernando, Soares Luis, Varelo Antonio, Ramos Heldon, Soares Marco, Santos Nivaldo, Mendes Ryan and Tavares Carlos made up the Cape Verde side.

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