South Africa draw 0-0 with Algeria in Africa Cup of Nations warm-up match
Posted: 12 January 2013 Time: 22:37
Bafana Bafana lacked spark as they played out a goalless draw with Algeria at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.
The closest chances of the match fell to Katlego Mphela and Bernard Parker in the first half, but overall Bafana were uninspiring.
Kagisho Dikgacoi and Katlego Mphela reached 50 caps on the day, but it will be a match they would rather forget than remember.
Both teams felt each other out in the opening minutes, with Thabo Matlaba and Parker the most enterprising for Bafana at the start.
Siyabonga Sangweni had a pot-shot on goal on 15 minutes, off which Algeria grabbed the ball and went on a counter-attack. Luckily for Bafana the final cross was over everyone’s heads in the box and went out for a throw-in.
Five minutes later Thulani Serero sent a great ball into the box from the right straight to Dikgacoi, who attempted a bicycle-kick, missing the ball completely.
It was bad decision making from 'KG', who had plenty of time to bring the ball down and have a shot.
Three minutes later Algeria showed their mettle when Islam Slimani showed some fantastic skill to slip past his man and pass to Fouad Kadir, who sliced his shot wide.
As Algeria were stringing some passes around at the edge of the box, the ball was cleared by Sangweni and Bafana went on the counter-attack, with Parker sending the ball up field to Phala.
There was too much weight on the ball but Phala’s pace came through for him and he got to it, winning a corner, which was immediately wasted.
Bafana nearly went ahead on the half-hour mark Parker’s incisive corner reached the far corner of the box, where Sangweni was approaching for the header, but the ball was plucked from in front of him by Algeria goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi.
There was some nice work from Bafana a few minutes later, when Serero ran through the middle and sent a ball out to Anele Ngconga on the right, who passed back to Dikgacoi at the edge of the box, but his shot floated over the bar.
Algeria then had a corner, and almost managed to score with just Essaid Belkalem in the box, but he pinged his shot over the bar.
Bafana’s two best chances came just before half-time.
First, after a wayward Algeria pass Mphela used his strength to shoulder past his marker and get a shot away, but it was blocked well by the keeper's legs.
Then, after neat build-up play involving Furman, Parker got a shot away, but there was not enough power on it and it was easily saved.
Algeria then had their best chance of the half, from a strong free-kick, reached Belkalem, who glanced a header just over the bar.
Siboniso Gaxa started the second half in place of Ngcongca, and a few minutes later Siphiwe Tshabalala and Reneilwe Letsholonyane came on for Serero and Furman.
‘Yeye’ had a chance on goal just before the hour-mark, when he found himself in space on the edge of the box, did well to turn and shoot, but the shot was weak, got a slight deflection, and went wide.
It was Tshabalala’s turn next, after Phala showed his pace down the right flank and, although he could not beat his marker, he managed to get the ball to ‘Shabba’ on the left, whose shot was high.
Shabba had another decent chance on 65 minutes: after a long free-kick from Gaxa, he chested down and took a shot, which dipped late and went over the bar.
Gaxa did well to clear a dangerous, low Algeria cross seconds later, diving to clear for a corner just before it crossed goal.
Bafana had a penalty appeal turned down 15 minutes from time, when Parker slipped the ball through to Rantie and Phala in the box. Rantie was held back by a defender, but he was offside anyway.
The match descended into a lull from then on, with niggly fouls and yellow cards the only real action.
Two minutes from time Bafana had a corner, sent in by Shabba, and Parker rose highest, but headed just wide, and a few minutes later the stalemate was confirmed by the final whistle.
South Africa XI: Itumeleng Khune, Anele Ngcongca (Siboniso Gaxa 45), Thabo Matlaba, Bongani Khumalo, Siyabonga Sangweni, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Thuso Phala, Dean Furman (Reneilwe Letsholonyane 54), Katlego Mphela (Tokelo Rantie 61), Thulani Serero (Siphiwe Tshabalala 53), Bernard Parker
Algeria XI: Rais Ouheb Mbouli, Carl Medjani, Djamel Mesbah, Essad Belkalem, Mehdi Mostefa Sbaa, Foued Kadir, Hamer Bouazza, Khaled Lemmouchia, Sofiane Feghouli, Adlene Guedioura, Islam Slimani