Depleted Bafana Bafana draw with Zambia
Posted: 11 January 2012 Time: 7:25 pm
A depleted Bafana Bafana held African Nations Cup finalists Zambia to a 1-1 draw in a training match at the Rand Stadium.
Stophira Sunzu netted for Zambia while Ayanda Gcaba equalised for South Africa. The match burst into life as early as the third minute when Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene made a mistake in his penalty box and parried the ball outside for a corner kick. From the resultant corner, Santos centre-back Wayne Arendse headed the ball over the bar. That seemed to spark the Zambians into action as they controlled the match in midfield and laid the ball to Christopher Katongo who forced his way down the right side and beat a couple of Bafana players and settled for a corner-kick. The in-swinging delivery from Rainford Kalaba was met by a header from Sunzu, which goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo could not save. 1-0 to Zambia. Then the Bafana defence looked out of sorts as Collins Mbesuma nearly scored but could only find the side setting. Ajax Cape Town’s George Maluleka’s shot from outside the box was one of the few highlights for Bafana, but he was denied by Mweene. Then Arendse again found himself free in the penalty area, but again headed over the cross bar. 10 minutes before the half-time break Mbesuma had two chances. First, he released a thunderbolt left-footer from outside the box, which agonisingly shaved the post and the second he hit straight at the keeper. In the second half, Orlando Pirates midfielder Isaac Chansa reminded Khuzwayo of his PSL exploits when he forced him to flick the ball over the crossbar. Five minutes later, Bafana equalised when Maluleka crossed from the right and Ayanda Gcaba headed the ball home. A minute later Chris Katongo missed an open chance as the Bafana defence was once again caught out. Then Katongo forced another brilliant save from Khuzwayo, but Bafana held on for a credible draw against a full strength Zambian side, who are aiming for a semi-final spot at the Africa Cup of Nations.