Leadership (Abuja)

20 January 2013

Cape Verde/South Africa: Afcon - Bafana, Cape Verde in Dull Draw

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.

Despite a flurry of chances in the dying minutes, hosts South Africa were held to a goalless draw by Cape Verde Islands in the opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations at the National Stadium, Johannsbury yesterday.

The Bafana Bafana had majority possession, but were far from clinical with their finishing as they settled for a share of the points.

The late introduction of Lerato Chabangu injected some new energy into the game, but Gordon Igesund's men could not find the final touch in front of goal.

The visitors also had their opportunities from a few good attempts, and both teams will be pleased not to have lost a nervy opening encounter.

Bafana's first attempt came in the second minute when Siphiwe Tshabalala took a free kick from a dangerous position on the edge of the box towards the corner flag, but Bernard Parker's effort sailed just wide.

Lehlohonolo Majoro was fouled in the 13th minute and Tshabalala again took the set-piece. This time the shot was fired straight at Cape Verde goalkeeper Josimar Dias.

Thabo Matlaba was strong on the ball and won a corner for the Bafana Bafana in the 23rd minute, which was taken by Thuso Phala, but it was well controlled by the Cape Verde defence.

The hosts were menacing on attack, but lacked the final pass on numerous occasions, and were also closely monitored.

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