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Freetown
14/06/2008 16:30

Christian Caulker saves the ball while Thembinkosi Fanteni looks on.

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Bafana lose to Leone Stars

Posted: 14 June 2008 Time: 20:46

Two late goalline saves by Sierra Leone’s goalkeeper; Christian Caulker secured a dramatic 1-0 win over South Africa, severely denting Bafana Bafana’s chances of qualifying for the 2010 African Nations Cup finals.

An 18th minute penalty by Sierra Leone’s captain and star player Mohammed Kallon separated the teams, but it was rough justice on Joel Santana’s men who were unlucky not have gained a point from their trip to Freetown.

They had completely dominated the opening period when the hosts mounted their first meaningful attack, and Bryce Moon’s lunge brought down Samuel Barlay in the penalty area, just inside the left channel. It was a careless challenge, and it has cost South Africa dearly.

Although the qualifying campaign for Angola 2010 has a long way to go, there must be serious concern around Bafana’s inability to pick up points in West Africa. And, unless this is rectified, South Africa face the embarrassing prospect of missing out on the Nations Cup finals just a few months before hosting the World Cup.

Yet, with a little luck, and more assured finishing, South Africa would have taken a point, or even all three, from this match.

Just as they completely dominated the opening quarter-hour, forcing the hosts into conceding a flurry of free-kicks, so they dominated the closing stages, again winning a number of free-kicks, but to no avail.

Caulker saved acrobatically on his line from from Lerato Chabangu in the 81st minute, just seconds after the Sundowns man had come on for a disappointing Terror Fanteni. And Caulker repeated the heroics during a goallmouth scramble three minutes into time added on, clinching a precious win for the underdogs.

South Africa came close on a number of other occasions, Kagiso Dikgacoi hitting the crossbar after a good move in the 67th minute involving Steven Pienaar and Tshepo Masilela.

Surprise Moriri twice drew point-blank saves out of Caulker, the first just before half-time, then again as Bafana mounted their second half comeback. And Pienaar twice had efforts that were too close to the keeper to trouble him.

The hosts were not completely outclassed however, and dominated the period after taking the lead – another cause for concern for Santana, as Bafana again let their heads drop.

They roused themselves well after the interval however, and even though Sierra Leone played with the confidence of a home side leading, Bafana return home convinced that the better side lost.

Sierra Leone: Christian Caulker – Warren Kanu, Ibrahim Koroma, Umeru Bangura, Gibrila Wobay – Samuel Barlay (Alpha Lansana 84), Ibrahim Kargbo, Sherrif Suma, Kai Kamara (Ishmael Kamara 90 + 3) – Mohammed Kallon (capt), Mustapha Bangura (Paul Kpaka 74)

South Africa: Khune – Moon (Mashego 68), Khumalo, Tsotetsi, Masilela – Modise, Sibaya (capt), Dikgacoi, Pienaar – Moriri – Fanteni (Chabangu 81)

Previous comments on this story...

Anonymous
posted: 12:55 am
Majalweng u raise valid reasons for South Africa's hosting of the world cup. However, the bottom line is that South Africa has disgraced itself with the recent xenophobic attacks. That was on top of one of the highest murder and rape rates in the whole world. And a minibus based trasport infrastructure. The truth is that even though RSA may be the best qualified in Africa, we just have to pray that soccer-loving foreigners wont be burnt alive en-masse cum 2010. And they better up-grade JHB Int Airport, the last time I tried to leave Jo-burg there was chaos at the intl departure terminal..we were packed like sardines & the customer service was deplorable!
Anonymous
posted: 05:53 am
Good stuff Paro,but the fact that remains is,peolle should not get carried away when they comment here,Bafana Bafana AKA Bafana Bo-Majesa are not the reason why the greates sporting event on earth is coming to Africa for the first and last time,but ther Gorvenment of South Africa is,the infrastracture that SA has,convinced FIFA that top level soccer can be played there,world champions can eb crowned there even if its not South Africa,nobody expects SA to win anything,but we expect them to succesfully host the world cup and have organised structures that are chaos free...BUt remember,this is an African country,we're going to see a lot of imbarrasing moments that we never saw anywhere,we know about crime in SA,a lot of education should be provided to soccer lovers around the world,though heartbreaking and unfortunate as it sounds,there are always going to be those people who are going to seek to advance thier interest and wants in the expense of humanity..Pirates,Chiefs,Abafana Be Sthende and all this other teams in SA should spread the message that South Africans should come of age and move on from the pain and heart ache brought by apatheid and know that the sanctity of life should never be traded for anything...
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