Wasteful Bafana Bafana throws Group E open

PHOTO: AFP

South Africa beat Seychelles 6-0 five days ago, but they could not find their scoring boots in the reverse fixture in Victoria, where they played out a goalless draw with the Pirates.

The draw means that Nigeria tops Group E on nine points following yesterday’s defeat of Libya in Sfax, Tunisia. It also means that despite losing to Nigeria, Libya could overtake South Africa for the second qualification ticket from the group.

Much like the first match between the two nations on Saturday, it was South Africa that were the dominant force. But unlike Saturday, they could not find the back of the net.

Their first real chance for Bafana arrived in the ninth minute when Dino Ndlovu managed to head a cross back across the face of goal only for the ball to evade Lebo Mothiba.

The visitors continued to dominate the early stages of the first half and created two further chances in the 26th and 28th minute.

The first saw Percy Tau cut in from the right before unleashing a shot that was saved by the Seychelles Keeper Jerome Dingwall.

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The second effort again involved Tau whose cross from the right was punched away by Dingwall with Lebo Mothiba unmarked beyond him in the box.

Another chance followed in the 31st minute with Ndlovu unleashing a shot that deflected wide.
After a half where he didn’t have to do much, Itumeleng Khune was called into action just before half-time where he reacted smartly to smother a bouncing ball in the area.

But despite their dominance, the unpredictable artificial playing surface made it difficult for the visitors and the two teams went into half-time at 0-0.

The second half followed much the same path as the first, with South Africa enjoying a lion’s share of the possession.

In the 47th minute, they should have had the lead but Lebo Mothiba’s effort hit the crossbar when he should have scored.

The visitors thought they had the lead in the 54th minute after Tau found the back of the net, but the striker was ruled offside.

Another chance followed in the 68th minute but this time Modiba could only scuff his shot wide of the posts.

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