Bafana pip Isihlangu

Meshack Khotha

Meshack Khotha

Bafana Bafana boosted their morale ahead of their crucial 2010 World Cup-African Cup of Nations qualifier against nemesis Nigeria on Sunday when they beat Isihlangu of Swaziland 1-0 in a friendly at Germiston Stadium yesterday.

The match finally gave Brazilian coach Joel Santana a chance to see all his charges in action.

The 11 players who were introduced in the second half played much better than those who started the game.

In-form SuperSport United forward Katlego Mashego scored the goal in the 77th minute.

Mashego, who was crucial in United's success in the Absa Premiership last season, beat Isihlangu goalie Njabuliso Simelane from close range after a well-taken corner kick by Delron Buckley.

Simelane might have been beaten by Mashego, but the Swaziland goalkeeper was in top form and he denied Bafana Bafana from winning the match convincingly.

Zakhele Manyathi nearly leveled the score but his attempt hit the upright with Bafana goalie Rowen Fernandez well beaten in the 85th minute.

Siboniso Gaxa had his pile-driver from the centre parried for a corner by Simelane in the 79th minute.

Simelane came into the picture again when he saved Excellent Walaza's powerful shot on the stroke of full time. The first half was a dull affair.

A moment of silence was observed before the match for the late Bidvest Wits striker Abram Raselemane.