After the brave effort against Brazil on Friday, much was expected of Gordon Igesund’s men against a weakened Mambas side, and while they were impressive in patches, the familiar old problem of wasted chances again came back to haunt them.
Thankfully Parker brought his scoring boots and scored after just seven minutes after running onto Siphiwe Tshabalala’s well-weighted pass, scuffing his shot past the Mambas goalkeeper.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane almost netted three minutes later with a thunderous volley from outside the area, before captain Bongani Khumalo header over from a corner when completely unmarked.
Mozambique’s one decent chance of the half fell the way of Helder Pelembe, whose powerful shot from distance sailed inches over.
Lerato Chabangu curled a free-kick just over while Khumalo then scored a perfect header from Tshabalala’s free-kick, but it was wrongfully ruled offside.
The South Africans started the second half strongly and almost got a fortuitous goal when Parker’s low cross deflected off a defender and went just over the crossbar.
Parker again came close on the hour-mark when substitute May Mahlangu got free down the right and squared the ball, but the Chiefs’ man side-footed shot was tame and straight at the keeper.
Tshabalala had a great chance shortly afterwards when he was played through on goal, but the Mambas goalkeeper did well to spread himself and save the effort.
The game descended into a bit of a scrap after that, with Bafana struggling to create any chance of note, while Mozambique seemed content to limit the damage.
However, Bafana did finally add to their tally, and again Parker was the scorer – running onto debutant Tamsanqa Gabuza’s square-ball and beating the keeper with a low shot from outside the box.
Former Bidvest Wits defender Almiro Lobo was shown a second yellow late on as the Mambas were brought down to earth at Mbombela Stadium - though a Moeneeb Josephs error almost gave them something to smile about – and Igesund got that much-needed first win under his belt.
South Africa: Josephs – Gaxa, Sangweni, Khumalo (Fransman 70), Masenamela – Tshabalala (Matlaba 84), Furman (Mokotjo 90), Letsholonyane (Maluleka 62) – Serero (Mahlangu 55), Parker, Chabangu (Gabuza 74)
Mozambique: Logomale, Joao Mazive, Maculuve, Pamarra, Jumisse, Pilale, H Pelembe, Alberto, Chiluvane, Lobo, Zainadine Junior
Follow me on Twitter @KickOffCooper