Bafana Afcon warm-up ends all square

Bafana Bafana and Ghana played to a goalless draw in their Africa Cup of Nations warm-up match played behind closed door on Saturday afternoon.
 
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter used two separate line-ups to play half a match each, but the first team that started showed the coach's hand somewhat, with only two changes made from their last qualifier match against Libya in March, in the form of Thulani Serero and Thembinkosi Lorch.
 
The sides had a slow start but the Black Stars were the quickest to gather momentum after ten minutes and came close twice to break the deadlock but were unable to convert their chances.
 
After a water break midway through the half, Bafana had a chance to break the deadlock on the stroke of halftime from a dead-ball situation, although Percy Tau's effort sailed just wide of Richard Ofori's upright.
 
Bafana came out with a completely new team in the second stanza except for shot-stopper Darren Keet as the likes of Bongani Zungu, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Themba Zwane and Lars Veldwijk came in.
 
The Netherlands-based forward almost broke the deadlock five minutes inside the second stanza with the first shot on target for Baxter’s men, but his effort was parried away by Ofori.
 
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah introduced multiple substitutions of his own as the second half continued, while Keet made way for Ronwen Williams on the hour-mark.
 
The Black Stars nearly snatched victory in second-half stoppage time through Asamoah Gyan, whose header struck the frame of the goal as the clash ended goalless.
 
Bafana will take on Angola in their final warm-up friendly match on Wednesday at the Aero Sports Club in Cairo, before they open their 2019 AFCON campaign against Ivory Coast on 24 June at the capital city of Egypt. Morocco and Namibia are the other two sides in the pool.
 
Team 1: Darren Keet, Thamsanqa Mkhize, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkwhanazi, Sfiso Hlanti, Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Thulani Serero, Thembinkosi Lorch, Percy Tau, Lebo Mothiba.
 
Team 2: Ronwen Williams, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Innocent Maela, Daniel Cardoso, Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda, Bongani Zungu, Sbusiso Vilakazi, Themba Zwane, Lebo Maboe, Lars Veldwijk.

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