The South African squad was comprised of only First Division players, save for Ramahlwe Mphatlhele, who plies his trade at Moroka Swallows.
The Zebras imposed themselves from the outset and took the lead as early as the second minute when midfielder Boitumelo Mafoko headed home from a corner.
Zebras’ speedy South Africa-bound winger Joel Mogorosi mesmerised the visitors, but his crosses into the 18-yard boxes were nothing to write home about.
The Zebras had given striker Mpho Mabogo a rare start, but it was difficult to have him fairly judged as there was barely a good supply of the balls to him.
Dirang Moloi was also a shadow of himself and the form that saw him go for trials at Supersport United was just not there and he was later replaced by his elder brother in the second half, Pontsho Moloi, who scored the Zebras’ second goal before he limped off the field with a muscle strain.
Credit must, however, go to the Bafana squad as they kept on pressing hard, despite trailing for the better part of the game.
It wasn’t a surprise when one of their most promising players on the night, Mthokozisi Mabaso scored South Africa’s goal.
It was then that Bafana started knocking the ball around with confidence and started dominating play, a factor which didn’t go down well with the Zebras fans who called on coach Colywn Rowe to make several substitutions.
The South African goalkeeper and captain Jacob Mokhasi was a marvel to watch as he cut in all crosses and handled balls confidently, save for the first one that resulted in a goal.
South Africa was, however, the more determined team on the night and they showed this by exhausting all their substitutions and giving six players who started from the bench a well deserved run.
The two teams meet again in the second game on Monday night at Botswana’s National Stadium, a game where Botswana coach Rowe is expected to use other players that he barely gives a run.