Last-gasp goal stalls Bafana

Bafana midfielder Dean Furman. Pic: Gallo Images

Bafana midfielder Dean Furman. Pic: Gallo Images

A stoppage-time strike from Burkina Faso denied Bafana Bafana a win in Ouagadougou in their opening Group D 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier on Saturday evening.

Dean Furman’s 81st minute strike looked to have given South Africa a precious three points away from home on the road to Russia, but substitute Banou Diawara struck in the first minute of injury time to earn the Stallions a point.

South Africa, however, could not complain too much about the 1-1 draw, as the Burkinabe also failed to convert two penaltie, with Itumeleng Khune in stunning form for Shakes Mashaba’s side.

Bafana had a chance as early as the third minute, as Mpho Makola received a pass inside the Burkinabe penalty area, but his first touch let him down. A minute later, the Orlando Pirates attacking midfielder cut in from the left and fired a shot just over the bar.

In the 8th minute, Thabo Matlaba found space down the left, but his cross couldn’t find Eleazar Rodgers.

Burkina Faso were awarded a penalty in the 9th minute, as Eric Mathoho was adjudged to have handled the ball, though replays suggested the contact was outside the box. Jonathan Pitroipa’s penalty was brilliantly saved by Khune, diving to his left.

In the 16th minute, Thulani Serero won Bafana a free kick down the right wing. Makola’s delivery was headed goalwards by Hlompho Kekana, but Kouakou Koffi made an excellent save.

In the 19th minute, Burkinabe winger Prejuce Nakoulma breezed past Mathoho and got to the byline, getting in a fine cross that Matlaba was lucky to divert into Khune’s arms.

Four minutes later, Alain Traore produced a superb piece of skill before rifling in a shot that flew just over the bar.

In the 27th minute, Khune had to produce another excellent save to keep out a Burkina Faso header from a corner. In the 32nd minute, Serero won Bafana a free kick on the edge of the box, and Makola’s effort was pushed away by Koffi.

In the 38th minute, Khune made a third superb save, this time with his legs to keep out a Nakoulma header. Just after that Pitroipa fizzed an effort just wide of the Bafana goal.

South Africa missed a glorious opportunity to take the lead five minutes after the break as Makola’s brlliant cross found Rodgers just five metres out but somehow the Bidvest Wits striker headed wide.

Rodgers was booked in the 59th minute for a late challenge on Koffi, while two minutes later, Khune made another fine save to deny Nakoulma’s fierce shot.

In the 66th minute, Mashaba made his first change of the evening, bringing on Oupa Manyisa for Keagan Dolly.

Two minutes later, Bafana had a decent chance as the ball fell for Kekana on the edge of the area, but he blazed over.

In the 71st minute, Manyisa did well to find Rodgers inside the area, but the Wits striker fired straight at Koffi.
At the other end, Bafana needlessly gave the ball away on the edge of their own area and Alain Traore fired into the side-netting.

May Mahlangu then came on for Kekana and set up a great chance for Manyisa in the 76th minute, but he fired way off target at the back post.

But Bafana were in front in the 80th minute. Makola’s corner was headed by Rodgers and saved by Koffi, but the ball broke to Furman on the edge of the area, and he drilled in a shot that found its way through a crowded penalty area and into the corner of the net.

Burkina Faso were handed another lifeline with two minutes on the clock, as Manyisa committed a reckless challenge inside the area, and the Moroccan referee had not option but to point to the spot.

Alain Traore, however, blasted the spot kick over the bar, and it looked like the Stallions’ last chance had gone. But in stoppage time, the Burkinabe did get their equaliser, substitute Diawara turning the ball past Khune from close range.

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