There was no intensity, not enough movement, passion or energy from South Africa, who were afforded an extra training session over their opponents.
The first half was a dull affair, with neither side employing a wealth of attacking ambition. The hosts dominated possession, with Senegal’s young side, made up mainly of Under-23 players, happy to sit back and go through the motions.
The best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to May Mahlangu. He initially won the ball on the right, played a good pass through to Serero, followed the move and was put through one on one against the keeper. But he shot straight at Bouna Coundoul.
Thulani Serero’s fancy footwork saw him almost walk through the visitor’s defence, but Katlego Mphela’s shot was too weak to trouble Coundoul. ‘Killer’ was a shadow of his goalscoring self in the encounter, and actually stole the ball off ‘Cream’, who was carrying the momentum.
On the half-hour mark, Kagisho Dikgacoi threaded through a nice ball for Edward Manqela, but he was caught offside. Early in the second half, the man from Free State Stars would spurn another such chance as he failed to beat the offside trap.
There was an appeal for a penalty from Bafana as there was a small push on Mphela in the box, but it was quickly waved away from refereeRuzive Ruzive.
Itumeleng Khune didn’t have much to do but punch out a corner from Dama Ndoye, before Tsepo Masilela ended the half with a shot that Coundoul easily picked out.
After the interval, play trickled on again with no real intensity until a brilliant ball from Anele Ngcongca was headed robustly byMphela with 58 minutes on the clock, but Coundoul was equal to the effort.
The visitors' best chance of the encounter came 10 minutes later when Ndiaye Deme Ndiaye put in a dangerous cross from the left flank, but Ndoye couldn’t make contact with the ball after sliding in.
A triple change by Pitso Mosimane, who had already replaced ‘KG’ and Masilela with Thanduyise Khuboni and Punch Masenamela respectively seemed to liven Bafana up a bit.
Teko Modise, Lebohang Mokoena and George Maluleka werebrought on for Serero, Manqela and Steven Pienaar.
Mphela and Modise combined well before the latter’s clever ball from the right was directed towards Mahlangu. The 22-year-old contested for the ball, but picked up a knock in the process and Thamsanqa Sangweni replaced him.
Mphela went close again for Bafana on 85 minutes, before with just a minute remaining Masenamela played in Modise, who reached for his shot and it was thus a tame effort.
But before the final whistle, ‘Donadoni’ displayed excellent technique to bring the ball down, before curling a shot that shaved the topnetting.
It was a fitting end – Bafana promised so much, but with time up, almost once again didn’t count.
SA: Khune; Ngcongca, Khumalo, Gould, Masilela (Masenamela 46’), Pienaar (Maluleka 68’), Dikgacoi (Khuboni 46’), Mahlangu (T. Sangweni 85’), Serero (Modise 68’), Mphela, Manqele (Mokoena 68’) Senegal: Coundoul; J. Faty, Ba, P. Gueye, Souare, I. Gueye, Diame (Kouyate 56’), R. Faty (Thioune 88’), N’Diaye (Diabang 64’), Konate (Diop 90+5’), N’Doye (Badji 72’)