Bafana held by New Zealand

The South Africans drew 1-1 with World Cup-bound Australia on Monday, but on that occasion they had goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa to thank for keeping them in the game.

This morning though, goalie Ronwen Williams was a mere spectator as Bafana dominated possession and territory, but once again failed to find the back of the net.


Gordon Igesund, seemingly in his last match in charge of the team, made three changes to the side, with Williams replacing Meyiwa, and Buhle Mkhwanazi and Siyabonga Nhlapo replacing the injured Thabo Nthethe and Mulomowandau Mathoho, who returned to Mzansi for a family bereavement.

The visitors nearly scored in the opening minute when Ayanda Patosi played a through-ball to Tokelo Rantie, but goalkeeper Glen Ross raced out of his area to block the shot.

On 16 minutes Patosi came close to netting his second goal in as many games but, after beating a defender on the edge of the area, his shot flashed inches wide.

The All Whites were relying on counter-attacks or defensive errors for their chances, and one such instance came just before the half-hour mark when captain Anele Ngcongca’s mistake allowed Durante space in the area, but he dragged his shot across the face of goal.

Bafana had another great chance on 37 minutes when Thato Mokeke found space down the left. His initial cross was blocked, but a second ball in presented Rantie with a volley which went just over.

If the South Africans had the better of the first half, they dominated the second, with Thulani Serero pulling the strings in midfield.

Thuso Phala missed two early chances before Hlompho Kekana fired a free-kick straight at the keeper.

But in a brief moment of respite, New Zealand almost took the lead when they countered and broke down the right. Tyler Boyd opted to shoot with numbers in the middle; his shot hitting the side-netting.

Rantie dragged another shot wide, Phala squandered a headed chance and Serero and Patosi fired straight at Moss as chances continued to fall to Bafana, before the best opportunity on 77 minutes: substitute Themba Zwane’s goalbound effort cleared off the line after he did brilliantly to fashion some space.

Moss produced another double-save late on to keep out Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Rantie as the Kiwis, 111th in the world rankings, held on for a draw.


New Zealand XI: Moss, Tuiloma, Boyd, McGlinchey, Rojas, James, Thomas, Roux, Payne, Boxall, Durante 

South Africa XI: Williams, Nhlapho, Ngcongca, Mkhwanazi, Mokeke, Letsholonyane, Kekana, Serero, Phala (Zungu 67), Patosi (Zwane 70), Rantie (Mthembu 88)