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Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos was pleased with the results. PHOTO SUPERSPORT
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos was pleased with the results. PHOTO SUPERSPORT

Bafana put Leone Stars to the sword

South Africa produced their best performance under coach Hugo Broos as they handed Sierra Leone a 4-0 thrashing in an international friendly at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

After suffering defeats at the hands of France (0-5) and Morocco (1-2) in their last ‘senior’ outings back in March, Bafana Bafana showed signs of major progress under their Belgian mentor as they put on a polished showing at Soccer City – inspired by the returning Themba Zwane, who scored a brace of fine goals.

South Africa started the stronger of the two teams, though Sierra Leone had a moment of danger at the 11-minute mark when they poached the ball in the hosts’ half and created a shooting chance for Augustus Kargbo, but his low effort was smothered by Ronwen Williams – and the offside flag had been raised.

At the 17-minute mark, Aubrey Modiba went direct for goal from a free kick, but saw his effort from a tight angle beaten away at the near post by goalkeeper Mohamed Kamara. The subsequent corner kick then picked out Innocent Maela, but his tame header bounced wide of the target.

Dial up the pressure

Midway through the first half, Sierra Leone’s Kwame Quee struck a fine effort on target direct from a long-range free kick, but Williams was able to tip over the crossbar with relative ease.

Bafana Bafana dialled up the attacking pressure around the half-hour mark and were rewarded in the 33rd minute when Themba Zwane put them into a 1-0 lead.

Zakhele Lepasa picked out a pass for the attacking midfielder, who turned his defender and fired home a right-footed drive which Kamara couldn’t keep out.

Mihali Mayambela threatened a second for the hosts, twice bringing saves out of Kamara as he flourished with some intelligent runs into space behind Sierra Leone’s right-back Ousman Kakay, while Kgaogelo Sekgota also caught the eye with his willingness to shoot from long range.

However, the first half closed with South Africa just one-nil up against the Leone Stars. The visitors responded with a double change at the start of the second, as both Augustine Williams and Kallum Cesay were introduced by coach John Keister.

Kept composure

Yet it was Bafana who scored next to make it 2-0 in the 49th minute. Zwane’s perfectly weighted pass allowed Lepasa to beat Kamara to the ball, though he was forced wide to the left by-line.

The striker kept his composure and picked out a pass to Mayambela, who easily tucked home from close range to double the home side’s lead.

Zwane continued to be the game’s outstanding player and scored his second on 64 minutes to make it 3-0. The number 11 latched onto a cross from Sekgota, touched the ball past Sierra Leone captain Steven Caulker and then stabbed a low shot beyond Kamara.

The fourth goal arrived 72 minutes in after a lengthy spell of passing which ended with Khanyisa Mayo and Lepasa teeing up Pule Mmodi – he saw his shot blocked by Kamara, but the rebound was fired home by Modiba for 4-0.

The game became scrambled and somewhat unstructured in the latter stages as both teams emptied their benches, but Bafana held off Sierra Leone’s hunt for a consolation goal and secured an impressive triumph.

South Africa will be back in action tomorrow, 27 September, as they face Botswana at FNB Stadium in another international friendly.


Namibian Sun 2022-11-27

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