Tough it out



October 13, 2016
Tough it out


Disjointed Bafana show grit in wind-affected draw with Ghana.

Bafana Bafana need to decide whether they will play with the wind or against it.

It’s been tough for the national team recently.

They have failed to qualify for next year’s Afcon and there hasn’t been many indications that they are improving as they fight for the right to play at the 2018 World Cup.

Shakes Mashaba’s manne followed up their 1-1 qualifier draw in Burkina Faso with the same result against Ghana in a friendly on Tuesday night.

The performance against an out-of-sorts Black Stars team was disjointed in the first half on a windy night in Durban.

But after going down to a penalty – a third spotkick in their last two games – they managed to fight back and get a draw playing against the wind.

It was strange to see them play with the conditions playing havoc with aerial balls.

Keeping the ball on the ground would have been wiser, but the congestion on the pitch due to so many short passes saw Bafana battling against the physical west Africans.

When South Africa’s goal came, it was a combination of strength, speed and the assistance of the wind.

Abbubaker Mobara came up from rightback and played a high ball into Sibusiso Vilakazi who managed to hold off his marker and bring the ball down.

The Mamelodi Sundowns man then cut the ball back to midfielder Ayanda Patosi, whose curling shot was held up in the wind and deceived the Ghana goalkeeper.

The goal came six minutes into the second half and the game took a turn for the worst.

Both sides went in search of the winner, but the wind just blew their best work away.

Otherwise, there were some players who will have impressed Shakes.

Mobara’s defending and willingness to help the attack means the Cape kid will get more game time.

His reading of the game was in stark contrast to left back counterpart Thabo Matlaba whose raids up field left his station unmanned.

Oupa Manyisa’s return to the team saw Bafana recycle the ball better and his link with the attack was impressive. Once his match fitness comes back, Shakes will have a very good player to call on.

Plus the reintroduction of Patosi, May Mahlangu and

Thulani Serero added some class to Bafana in a tough test.

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