South Africa vs Mozambique CHAN 2014
Posted: 11 January 2014 Time: 17:35
Bernard Parker scored a brace as Bafana Bafana cruised to a 3-1 win against Mozambique in the opening game of the 2014 African Nations Championships at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.
Diogo’s deflected effort had given the visitors a shock lead against the run of play, but Parker’s brace, either side of Hlompo Kekana’s screamer, made sure of the points.
In front of 25 000-odd people, it was the hosts who had the first chance through Parker, who created space for himself on the edge of the area, but his final shot was a weak one and easily gathered by goalkeeper Soarito.
Then, against the run of play on 11 minutes, it was Mozambique who took the lead. Diogo’s hopeful shot from 20 yards out took a wicked deflection off a defender and completely wrong-footed Itumeleng Khune, who could only watch the ball trickle over the line.
After that it was all Bafana. Parker got underneath Katlego Mashego’s cross and missed a good opportunity, before Soarito pulled off a point-blank save to prevent Monis putting the ball into his own net.
Mashego then watched his free-kick sail agonizingly wide and Lerato Chabangu fired a rebound just over the bar before the equalizer eventually came in rather fortunate circumstances.
Sibusiso Vilakazi was played in on goal, but was prevented a shot by a seemingly legitimate challenge by former Bidvest Wits left-back Almiro Lobo. However, the referee deemed the challenge a foul, allowing Parker to level matters from the spot.
And it really should have been 2-1 to the hosts at the break but for Mashego’s horror miss from four yards out from Siphiwe Tshabalala’s cross.
Then, on 59 minutes, the moment that changed the game. With seemingly no danger in sight, Kekana let rip with his right foot, hitting an absolute screamer from 35 yards which caught the keeper by surprise and saw Bafana take the lead for the first time in the match.
With 18 minutes to go Tshabalala had a chance to make sure of the points, but his shot from the edge of the area was straight at the keeper.
However, just 10 minutes later and the game was put to bed – Parker played in by ‘Shabba’, and he made no mistake with a powerful left-footed finish past the goalkeeper.
So the three points to Gordon Igesund's team, but he will know much tougher challenges lie in wait for his team.