Bafana held by neighbours Namibia in Rustenburg
Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki will have a couple of things to ponder about after seeing his side needlessly labouring to a 1-1 draw against neighbours Namibia in an international friendly at the Royal Bafokeng Palace in Phokeng on Thursday night.
Although Bafana put enough pressure to force the Namibians to give away possession that led to Bafana’s goal in the 19th minute, Ntseki will worry that his charges couldn’t finish a single opening of their own making.
But the biggest concern for Ntseki will also come from the fact that Bafana could not hold on to their lead as they allowed the Namibians to equalise with a well-taken strike by Absalom Limbondi, ten minutes after the break.
Luther Singh got his first official goal for Bafana after right winger Keegan Dolly fed a loose to Kermit Erasmus who laid a good pass to Singh to beat Virgil Vries, the Moroka Swallows goalkeeper, in Namibia’s goal.
Bafana could have paid more for their sloppiness as they could not take their chances in the first 45 minutes in which, playing in a 4-3-3 formation, they had 61 percent of the ball possession but failed to create as many clear cut chances to increase their lead against a team they had beaten seven times in ten previous ties.
Ntseki’s team could have been punished by Mamelodi Sundowns-bound Namibia striker Peter Shalulile who got better of Bafana debutant Thibang Phete only to see his strike going wide off Ronwen Williams post on the stroke of half time.
The 26-year-old Phete, who plays for Belenenses in the Portuguese league, looked comfortable playing alongside Mosa Lebusa in the heart of Bafana’s four-man defence that was completed by roving wingers Innocent Maela on the left and Abobaker Mobara on the right.
Bafana’s two other debutants Thabo Nodada and Siyethemba Sithebe a steady game in the midfield and they could do nothing to prevent Namibia finding a deserved equaliser as South Africa went to sleep at the start of the second stanza.
In the end there’s little that Ntseki will enthuse about when looking back at this match as his team looked more and more disjointed and vulnerable at the back as he made several changes in the second half.
Ntseki’s changes included that of goalkeeper Ricardo Goss who made a great save to deny Elmo Kambindu a second goal for the Brave Warriors of Namibia in the 75th minute.
Ntseki had repeatedly said before the start of this match that he wanted to see his players challenging him so that he could consider some of them for the two vital Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against islanders Sao Tome & Principe in November.
As per Covid-19 regulations in SA, this match was played without the fans on the stands and the same regulations will apply when Bafana take on Zambia at this very stadium at 3pm on Sunday.