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Lesotho 0-2 Bafana | Sox Shines For SA

3 June 2013 The Touchline Expert

Orlando Pirates midfielder Tlou “Sox” Segolela scored two goals in each half to help Bafana Bafana see off Lesotho 2-0 in an international friendly match played at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru, Lesotho on Sunday, 2 June 2013.

South Africa remains unbeaten against the Mountain Kingdom with five victories in six meetings, with the other match drawn.

The match got off to a flying start with Bafana creating several chances. Segolela opened the scoring on the stroke of halftime following a fine pass from Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala. It was an easy tap-in for the man nicknamed Sox. That goal gave the cheering Bafana supporters something to celebrate going into the break.

The second half started with coach Gordon Igesund making several changes as he continued to give more players the opportunity to impress ahead of the crucial 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Central African Republic and Ethiopia.

Bafana continued to pressurise the hosts and their efforts were rewarded on 60 minutes with Segolela completing his brace – 2-0 it was to Bafana and the crowd, led by captain Itumeleng Khune in the stands were in full song.

It could have been 3-nil seven minutes later after striker Bernard Parker latched on to a pass from Tshabalala but his shot was cleared off the line with the keeper well beaten.

“The two goals were a great confidence booster for me, but credit must go to the whole team as we worked very hard to achieve this result. We did very well in windy conditions and this should set us up for a great travel to Cameroon, hopefully we will repeat the same performance and even improve it slightly,” said Segolela.

Both countries were using this match as preparation for their upcoming Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

South Africa faces the Central African Republic (CAR) on Saturday, 8 June in Yaoundé, Cameroon, with the second match coming the following weekend against Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday, 16 June.

With injuries hampering Bafana Bafana’s preparations, head coach Gordon Igesund used a vastly different side to the one that defeated CAR 2-nil in March in Cape Town.

Missing from the side was captain Khune, Thuso Phala and Reneilwe Letsholonyane who were not even on the bench for the Lesotho encounter – Thabo Nthete was handed the captain’s armband for the match.

But the main focus for this match was trying out different combinations in defence where several players have had to withdraw from the squad due to injuries.

Nthete played alongside Eric Mathoho in central defence – the first time they did so in the national team. However the two did play together at Bloemfontein Celtic before Mathoho made a switch to Kaizer Chiefs. Mathoho was replaced by Tefo Mashamaite in the second half. Also coming on in the second stanza was Tebogo Langerman at left-back in place of Ricardo Nunes, while Senzo Meyiwa made his Bafana Bafana debut when he replaced Wayne Sandilands who started in goals.

“I gave a couple of players a run and I was very pleased with the outcome. We had to get to the bottom of our defensive troubles before we travel to CAR and Ethiopia. It was important to get it right here today. What I saw gave me a clear indication of what we need to do in our next match which is very crucial,” said Igesund.

“Now we know what we need to work on and I believe we will get better, more so because Phala, May Mahlangu, Khune, Tokelo Rantie and Letsholonyane will be available for the two matches. So it was a good exercise for us and we have taken a lot from this match. I am happy with the result but more so with the performance. I saw a lot that I needed to see, because without this match I would have had to experiment in Cameroon, which is very dangerous.”

Bafana Bafana return to South Africa on Monday morning (3 June) and ill depart for Cameroon on Tuesday afternoon (4 June).

This is how they lined up:

Lesotho: Phasumane, Maswalle, Mothoana, Ntobo, Maple, Mokhakhane, Mofolo, Ranchobe, Marabe, Potloame, Lekhooman

South Africa: Wayne Sandilands (Senzo Meyiwa 46th), Anele Ngcongca, Ricardo Nunes (Langerman 56th), Thabo Nthethe (cap), Eric Mathoho (Tefo Mashamaite 46th), Dean Furman, Tlou Segolela (Richard Henyekane 75th), Oupa Manyisa, Siphiwe Tshabalala (Thandani Ntshumayelo 82nd), Bernard Parker, Katlego Mashego (Daine Klate 46th)