Bafana Bafana player ratings


REPORT: Cameroon hold South Africa

Itumeleng Khune 7
Despite conceding two goals, which were not his fault, Khune produced good saves throughout the match that kept Bafana Bafana in it, although in truth they were shots he would be expected to save. Early in the first half, he made a routine block from Bekamange’s snapshot from inside the box. Midway through the first half, Bedimo drifted wide before unleashing a powerful shot that Khune parried out for a corner, covering his near post as expected. With a few minutes to go before the interval he showed great reflexes to save a close-range volley from inside the box but only to concede a long-range shot from outside the box. Then late in stoppage time Khune got lucky when he parried a cross towards his own goal with a weak 'Hollywood' punch but fortunately for him the ball was cleared off the line by Thulani Hlatshwayo.

Anele Ngcongca 6
Not a great day at the office for Ngcongca who spent the first half under siege before he was substituted due to injury. With Cameroon using the left side to attack, Ngcongca faced an early onslaught early in the match and was caught out of position on a number of occasions. With three minutes to go before half-time Ngcongca was replaced by Rivaldo Coetzee.

Thulani Hlatshwayo 7
Solid defending and dealt well with the pressure from the Cameroon strikers and made a few interceptions. But the defender struggled at set-pieces as Cameroon players dominated, winning almost every ball. Late in the second half Hlatshwayo was lucky not to have been booked for a lunging tackle on Mbia but he really saved the day in stoppage time and kept out a Cameroon winner when he bailed out Khune following the keeper’s poor punch from a cross.

Erick Mathoho 6
Read the game very well, made good interceptions and carried the ball to midfield when needed. But like his defensive partner Hlatshwayo, Mathoho also struggled to deal with set-pieces and was largely at fault for the second equalising goal as he backed away from the danger zone instead of attacking the ball to defend, leaving the shorter and colder substitute Coetzee to deal with two Cameroon attackers. A bad mistake and neglect of responsibility in a game of such importance when an experienced starting defender had already left the pitch injured.

Thabo Matlaba 6
Matlaba fought a good fight, defended well and got himself involved whenever Bafana won the ball and charged forward. With Makola playing a little inside, that allowed Matlaba some space to overlap and the Pirates player tracked back to defend when Bafana surrendered ball possession. With fifteen minutes remaining and Bafana having used all the substitutes, the defender got injured and was stretched off the field before making a return.

Andile Jali 7
Jali worked his socks off and allowed his midfield partner Hlompho Kekana the chance to push up front. With one minute to go before the interval, Jali linked up well with Tokelo Rantie playing a perfect through-pass for the striker, only for Rantie to hesitate and shoot straight at the goalkeeper.

Hlompho Kekana 8
The Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder did not have a great first half but was a beast in the second half, and scored a goal that would have been a worthy winner for any game in the world. Kekana won tackles, charged forward and placed good passes for Mandla Masango. In the 50th minute he singlehandedly put Bafana back in the lead with a world-class strike. After pressing hard in his own half to win the ball back he showed great awareness and intelligence to spot the Cameroon goalkeeper off his line and unleashed a drilled long-range shot into back of the net from his own half, about 55 metres out (watch that wonder-strike below). A few minutes later he tried his luck again from long range only for the shot to go over the bar.

POLL: Is this Kekana strike the best ever Bafana goal?

Mandla Masango 5
Not a great day at the office for Masango who had a poor match and should have scored or at least played a cross for another player to score early in the second half. The skilful winger played a long-ball straight to Rantie early in the second half catching the Cameroon defence by surprise.

Mpho Makola 7
A good, solid performance from the Orlando Pirates player – his perfectly timed and weighted pass found Tokelo Rantie to score Bafana’s opening goal. In the second half, Makola ran out of steam – and also didn’t follow his man on Cameroon’s second goal – and was replaced by William Thwala with 18 minutes remaining on the clock.

Tokelo Rantie 7
Rantie used his pace wisely to get behind the Cameroon defenders who didn’t know how to deal with him. As early as the third minute he was fouled just outside the box giving Bafana Bafana the first real chance of the match only for Makola to balloon his free-kick over the bar. In the 17th minute the striker timed his run to perfection, beating the Cameroon goalkeeper before planting the ball into the back of the net. A few minutes before the interval, Rantie failed to convert a golden opportunity to make it 2-0 from Jali’s clever pass, and straight after that big missed chance Cameroon equalised.

Thamsanqa Gabuza 5
Gabuza looked confused right through the first half making runs wide instead of staying in the middle to link up with Rantie and it didn’t come as a surprise when Shakes Mashaba substituted him for Thulani Serero at half-time.

Rivaldo Coetzee 6
A centre-back by trade, Coetzee came on for the injured Ngcongca at right-back and struggled with the pace of the game and was caught out of position a few times. Perhaps it would have been wiser for Mashaba to switch Hlatshwayo to right-back and Coetzee to centre-back, although that was the position he took up at a set-piece when Mathoho left him marking two defenders for Cameroon’s second equaliser. He had two players to mark and didn’t get close enough to either.

Thulani Serero 7
In referee’s optional time Serero was unlucky not to get a penalty when he was clearly fouled inside the box. After coming on as a half-time substitute for Gabuza, Serero took the load off Rantie’s shoulders and made a few dangerous runs into the Cameroon box.

William Twala
Came on for Makola with 18 minutes remaining but hardly touched the ball.