; Bafana hopes almost dead after dull draw – The Citizen

Bafana hopes almost dead after dull draw

Andile Jali beats Adolphe Kamgang of Cameroon during the 2017 Gabon AFCON Qualifier match between South Africa and Cameroon at Moses Mabhida Stadium.  (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Andile Jali beats Adolphe Kamgang of Cameroon during the 2017 Gabon AFCON Qualifier match between South Africa and Cameroon at Moses Mabhida Stadium. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana 2017 Africa Cup of Nations dream is all-but over after they could only draw 0-0 with Cameroon at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday night.

Shakes Mashaba’s side now trail Group M leaders Cameroon by five points with just two games to go in Afcon qualifying.

Bafana had the first opportunity as early as the 2nd minute, as Andile Jali was brought down by Edgar Salli on the edge of the Cameroon box. Bafana debutant Sifiso Hlanti stepped up and his curled effort was tipped over by Indomitable Lions goalkeeper Joseph Ondoa.

In the 14th minute, Hlanti did well to get into a crossing position down the left, and his ball in was headed goalward by Thulani Hlatshwayo, but again Ondoa was in the way.

Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar returned for Cameroon after serving a suspension, and his lay off in the 16th minute saw Salli hit a drive wide from the edge of the area.

In the 24th minute, Hlatshwayo needlessly gave the ball away to Daniel Ndi, who surged into the penalty area, but his cross was gathered by Itumeleng Khune.

Aboubakar came into the game more and more, winning one free kick which the then curled over the bar. Another set piece from Henri Bedimo then just evaded the head of Aboubakar and went just wide.

On the half hour mark, Bafana had a great chance as Cheudjou gave the ball away to Tokelo Rantie on the edge of his own area. Rantie found Thulani Serero inside the box, but instead of shooting the Ajax Amsterdam midfielder tried to square the ball to Rantie, and missed his target.

Seven minutes later, the game flared up as Aboubakar collapsed under Hlatswayo’s challenge and players from both sides came together on the halfway line. Burkina Faso referee Juste Zio booked both Aboubakar and Hlatshwayo.

Shakes Mashaba brought on Siyabonga Nhlapho for Hlatshwayo at half time, in the hope of getting a bit more width down the right flank, with Bafana too often trying to pass their way through the middle of a congested Cameroon defence.

Bafana then had to make another changes as Rantie went down injured in the 51st minute, Ndumiso Mabena coming on in his place.

In the 59th minute, Ondoa had to be alert to tip over another Hlanti set piece. And a minute later, Hlompho Kekana almost scored another long-range cracker, curling an effort inches wide of target.

Just after that, Cameroon had their best chance of the night, Aboubakar doing well to chest down Salli’s cross, but volleying over.

In the 75th minute, Thamsanqa Gabuza headed over from a corner and soon after that he was substituted, Prince Nxumalo coming on for his Bafana debut. He had Bafana;s final chance in the last minute, but his shot was blocked by a brilliant last ditch tackle.

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