Premium Journalist
2 minute read
17 Nov 2015
9:12 pm

Bafana Bafana triumph 1-0 thanks to Angola own goal


Bafana Bafana reached the group stages of the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia competition after they ran out 1-0 winners against Angola in the second leg of their second-round qualifying clash at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, on Tuesday evening.

The result meant that South Africa wrapped up the two-leg qualifier with a 4-1 aggregate and they will join Africa’s other qualifying countries in the draw scheduled for January 2016.

The visiting ‘Sable Antelopes’ started out with a greater sense of urgency and allowed Bafana Bafana very little time on the ball. The Angolans made eight changes to the side which went down 3-1 at home in the first-leg four days ago and the new faces seemed a far livelier combination.

Angola made a strong raid down the left flank in the fifth minute before reeling in a kick into the goalmouth where Fredy rose well to meet the ball with a header but the effort went high over the crossbar.

As play moved towards the halfway mark of the first half, Bafana Bafana held a decided territorial advantage but were never able to create scoring chances. They set the Bournemouth-based Tokelo Rantie free on several runs out wide down the right channels but he was closed down by the Angolan defence around the fringes of the penalty area.

Around the 24th minute, an Angola corner kick posed problems for Bafana Bafana in front of goal after two poor clearance attempts and in the end danger was averted as the opposition strikers failed to capitalise.

There was another for South Africa in the 38th minute when their defence was unable to contain a sortie into their penalty area but the Angolan market were equally inefficient in front of the target.

Just before the halftime break, Bafana Bafana’s hard-tackling Thulani Hlatshwayo was yellow-carded for a harsh challenge on Dolly Menga.

Despite the territorial advantage, the 75th world-ranked South Africa went into the break fortunate not to be trailing after Angola, ranked 98th, spurned at least two scoring opportunities.

Angola again looked the more likely to score as second-half play wound its course and that should have been in the case in the 56th minute. Instead, Gelson’s parting shot struck the upright after he had rounded the opposition’s keeper Jackson Mabokgwane.

Ten minutes later, South Africa went ahead through an own goal when a Rantie header bounced off the shin of João Diniz into the Angolan nets, after a Mandla Masango corner kick (1-0).

After this stroke of good fortune, South Africa were content to go through the motions to keep the Angolans at bay although the visitors closed the match strongly but unable to capitalise on scoring opportunities.