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Match Report: Bafana vs Equatorial Guinea

6 January 2012 The Touchline Expert

0min – 25min

Aside from the small honour of being invited to open up one of the CAF African Cup of Nations 2012 official stadiums, the international friendly between South Africa and Equatorial Guinea garnered very little pre-match interest from the South African soccer fraternity. Well that was the case until news broke that Helsingborg’s wonder kid May Mahlangu would make his Bafana Bafana debut at this very fixture.

First Half:

The start was not encouraging as Bafana Bafana lined up with a 4-5-1 which we now know is a tell-tale sign that we are in for a typical Pitso Mosimane rugby-style approach to attack. It was a dull first half with the home team providing the entertainment by squandering a number of chances in front of Brilliant Khuzwayo’s goal. Half time came without the South Africans testing the hosts’ defence.

Second Half:

Double substitution as Bidvest Wits’ on-form striker Ryan Chapman and Jomo Comos’ Nontshinga get called into action. “Wait is Pitso playing 3 upfront?”, well, no. Chappies assumed the right midfield position while Nontshinga plays upfront. It takes almost an hour but finally a chance comes for Bafana as Chapman plays a good ball into the box for Nontshinga who manages to deflect the ball towards goals albeit too close to the goalkeeper. May Mahlangu slapped by E-G’s number 3 and… SCUFFLE!! Im awake. Red card for Gould and in true CAF fashion absolutely nothing for the player that slapped Mahlangu. Yes, if this CAF official had one more eye he’d be a cyclops. Classen off, replaced by Wayne Arendse. The home supporters going crazy over some of the basic dribbling skills exhibited by their team (Where’s Mark Mayambela when you need him…) Pitso sent off. Nazier Allie in for Gaxa. Corner for SA and… SCUFFLE!!! Final Score 0-0.

Highlight of the match: May Mahlangu debut. He showed a number of good touches, his class and confidence is apparent.

Verdict: Awful match. A reminder why Pitso Mosimane and SAFA’s failure to lead Bafana to AFCON 2012 was a giant step in a the wrong direction.