Bafana, Cape Verde in dire stalemate

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In was a game the capacity crowd would want to forget as soon as possible as it lacked any quality, with neither side being able to string together meaningful passes or create much in terms of scoring chances.

The hosts had an early chance to take the lead – Thuso Phala won a free-kick on the right and Siphiwe Tshabalala whipped in a curling effort, but Bernard Parker could not steer his near-post header on target.

On 13 minutes there was another chance for Bafana when they were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area, but Shabba’s shot was a tame one and went straight into the arms of goalkeeper Vozinha.

Then the half’s best chance. South Africa’s shaky defence was found out prior to the tournament, and it showed no signs of improvement when Babanco’s through-ball put Platini one-on-one with Itumeleng Khune, but he dragged his shot woefully wide.

Nerves were showing on both sides and chances were few and far between as a result of misplaced passes and the wet conditions, but Cape Verde had one more opportunity towards the end of the half after Bafana failed to deal with a corner, but Mendes fired over from a tight angle.

Lerato Chabangu came on for Kagisho Dikgacoi at the start of the second half, and he immediately tried to make an impact with an audacious bicycle kick, but the connection was poor.

Then, on 58 minutes, the closest Bafana came to a goal. Lehlohonolo Majoro ran onto a long ball and cut inside to feed Parker. The ball was taken off his feet but fell to Tshabalala, but his shot was bravely saved by the keeper.

The game then descended into a scrap of note as both teams showed a lack of quality and ability to adapt to the wet conditions, but Cape Verde did have one more good opportunity with 15 minutes to go. Some more poor defending allowed Heldon with a diving header, but Khune managed to tip the ball around the corner.

Thabo Matlaba had one last effort towards the end of the match when he was teed up by Chabangu, but it was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Khumalo headed over – a great chance missed yet again.

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