Bafana redeem themselves


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Siphiwe Tshabalala got the opener in the 22nd minute, before Lerato Chabangu finally made it 2-0 in injury time.

It would not be an understatement to say it was a walk in the park for Gordon Igesund’s men as they made up for their 2-0 defeat to Nigeria midweek – although they wasted a lot of scoring chances.

As early as the third minute, Bafana were on the attack, with David Mathebula breaking free from the right and feeding the ball to Bernard Parker, but he took too much time on the ball an in the end was dispossessed.

Four minutes later, Bongani Zungu set up Mathebula with a fine pass, but ‘DVD’ ballooned his shot over the bar.

Bafana continued to pile the pressure on the West Africans and it came as no surprise when Siphiwe Tshabalala broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute, giving Bafana a well-deserved lead.

Mathebula, Zungu and ‘Shabba’ combined well, with the latter turning around the defence and firing home to Kabore Mohamed’s right.

That was Tshabalala’s 12th goal in 81 caps for the national team.

The closest Burkina Faso came to a goal was in the 37th minute when Sango Alassane put in a cross and Tiendrebeogo Ipias got in front of the Bafana defenders, but he headed over the bar.

Before the break, Reneilwe Letsholonyane combined with Zungu and his classy lob beat the goalkeeper, but not the upright.

Moments later, Bernard Parker tested the keeper with a left-footed shot but Kabore was equal to the task.

Bafana went to the break leading 1-0.

After the break, the pace of the game slowed but Bafana continued to dominate. However, they were let down by the final touch.

In the 51st minute, Letsholonyane, Zungu and Mathebula combined again to devastating effect but ‘Yeye’ failed to hit the target, with a Burkina Faso defender stretching out to block his attempt.

Bafana looked good for another goal in the 61st minute, but for the umpteenth time failed to put the game beyond doubt. Letsholonyane found his way around the defenders in the box and passed on the ball to Shabba, but the midfielder’s attempt to curve the ball around the keeper was in vain.

10 minutes later, Bafana were awarded a free-kick and left-back Marc Van Heerden stepped up, but he was unlucky when his shot hit the crossbar.

Burkina Faso finally put up a fight towards the end of the match, but Bafana grabbed a second at the death with Luyolo Nomandela finishing off on the line following up Lerato Chabangu’s shot.

Bafana line-up: Khune, Hlatshwayo, Van Heerden, Mkhwanazi (Gumede 70th), Nthethe, Kekana, Zungu (Manyama 56th), Letsholonyane, Parker, Mathebula (Chabangu 58th), Tshabalala (Nomandela 83rd)

Burkina Faso line-up: Kabore, Alasanne, Issa, Pierre, Dayo Issouf, Traore Sidiki (Soma 74th), Bayala Cyrille (Kabore Issouf 80th), Barro Sidiki, Adama, Ipias, Dumarou (Zoungrana 62nd)