Bafana Bafana dim Stars in friendly

Oct 16, 2012
  • Harambee Stars Victor Wanyama controls the ball during the match against South Africa Bafana Bafana. South Africa won 2-1.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

A solid South African side barely managed to pip hosts Kenya 2-1 in an entertaining international friendly match on Tuesday evening at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The technically superior Bafana Bafana drew first blood in the 19th minute with a sumptuous strike.

Ironically it was Kenya who settled first and did all the early running as the South Africans took time to size the opposition.

However, Sofapaka center half Eugene Asike - one of the two surprise inclusions in Henri Michel’s starting eleven along with Wesley Kemboi - emerged as the weak link in the Kenyan rearguard.

Asike was clearly uncomfortable on the right back position where Michel deployed him and Bafana Bafana gleefully exploited the weakness.

South Africa capitalise on Kenya's shaky defense,Oliech tightly marked 

South Africa created the first clear chance within the first ten minutes when Lerato Chabangu picked out Siphiwe Tshabalala with a cross from the right but the Kaizer Chiefs man fumbled his shot with the goalmouth at his mercy.

On the other end of the field, Kenya’s strategy of using Dennis Oliech as their target man was working to their disadvantage.

The midfield duo of Patrick Osiako and Victor Mugubi were spraying all the balls to the left flank where Oliech was operating from leaving his strike partner Kemboi an isolated man.

Oliech, however, did force South African goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands into his first save on the quarter hour mark with a cross from the left flank.

Tshabalala and Chabangu were linking up well and a one-two between them almost led into a goal in the 16th minute before Rantie opened the score sheet off a pass that celebrated SuperSports analyst Thomas Mulambo cheekily called a ‘champagne pass’.

The Kenyan defence was left in sixes and sevens as Chabangu set Rantie free and the Malmo FF (Sweden) striker outpaced his marker before planting the ball low into Arnold Origi’s net.

The goal swung the tide the South African way and they almost doubled the lead in the 28th minute when Rantie latched on to a short throw-in and worked his way around his marker but in the end his short went straight into Origi’s hands.

A moment earlier, Sandilands had been forced to tip Osiako’s dipping free kick from 30 yards over the bar.

Just before the half time, Kenya’s had a penalty appeal waved away by Tanzania referee Charles Mbaga after Kemboi lost his footing inside the box with Oliech providing support.

The brief Stars equaliser 

After the break, the South Africa put their foot off the gas and Kemboi should leveled the scores in the 55th minute but his shot from Oliech’s headed pass was palmed out by Sandilands.

Kenya was getting more possession as complacency crept into Bafana Bafana’s rank as their play became erratic.

They were made to pay for their prolificacy in the 71st minute when skipper Bongani Khumalo handled Kemboi’s header in the box. Oliech kept his cool sending Sandilands the wrong way to level the scores from the resultant spot kick to the delight of the sizeable crowd in the stands.

But a defensive lapse by the Kenyan defence allowed South Africa to regain the lead almost immediately when Christopher Wekesa turned Bernard Parker’s ball into his own net.

The final quarter hour was a frantic affair as Kenya desperately chased the game. Thika United’s Moses Arita came on in the 80th minute for Kemboi and almost scored with his first touch but he failed to make sufficient contact with a cross from the right wing.

A minute later, Wekesa lunged forward with a full-bodied diving header but he too failed to make enough contact under pressure from his marker.

Igesund pleased with Bafana's performance, Michel satisfied with Stars first match

South Africa coach Gordon Igesund lamented the goal his team conceded but praised the boys for a good performance. “I am disappointed with the goal we conceded because I told the boys that under these conditions they must keep possession.

But overall, I am happy with result and with my players for their commitment”, Igesund said. His opposite number Michel was gracious in defeat but expressed satifiaction with the result.

“It’s a pity we conceded the second goal just after we leveled the scores, but am satisfied with the spirit and the performance of the players”, Michel said.

“The aim of friendly matches is to discover the strength and weaknesses of your team and this wasn’t a bad outing”, he added.

Squads: 

Kenya: Arnold Origi, Eugene Asike, Geoffrey Kokoyo, Brian Mandela, Christopher Wekesa (James Situma), Victor Mugubi, Patrick Osiako, Peter Opiyo (Osborne Monday), Francis Kahata (Ayub Timbe), Dennis Oliech (capt), Wesley Kemboi (Moses Arita).

South Africa: Wayne Sandilands, Thabo Nthete, Siyabonga Sangani, Bongani Khumalo (capt), Ricardo Nunes, Dean Furman, Kagisho, Dikgalcoi, Siphiwe Tshabalala (Tisifo Myeni), Tokelo Rantie (Din Ndlovu), Bernard Parker (Beven Fransman), Lerato Chabangu (Oupa Manyasi).

 

 

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