Bafana Bafana gave an assured and promising performance in their 1-0 win over Botswana in a friendly match at FNB Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Coach Hugo Broos should be happy with how his team acquitted themselves against a Zebras side who gave as much as they took.
Bafana started with a changed line-up from the one that faced and drubbed Sierra Leone 4-0 last weekend. Tuesday’s line-up had more new players in the team.
The likes of Sibongiseni Mthethwa, Khanyisa Mayo and Ashley Du Preez got their first Bafana starts. Mthethwa impressed as the defensive midfielder. Mayo and Du Preez failed to get an understanding and it showed they were playing together for the first time.
Du Preez was later replaced by Mihlali Mayambela who had started the previous game. Mayambela and Mayo had better understanding and posed some questions for Zebras’ defence.
Botswana didn’t allow Bafana dominance in the early exchanges and pressed high up. But this also left them exposed at the back.
Bafana eventually got into some rhythm with Tebogo Mokoena and Sibongiseni Mthethwa pulling the strings in the middle of the park.
With just over 20 minutes played, Ashley Du Preez was set through on goal after the Zebras keeper’s fumble in an attempted interception.
But the Kaizer Chiefs striker took too long and the keeper managed to recover, come back and punch the ball away from him.
Not long after that Du Preez had another chance but was undecided with his effort which became half an attempt at goal and half a cross. The keeper easily caught the ball.
Mokoena came close with a well taken free kick with just less than 10 minutes to the end of the half. His effort however didn’t dip enough and went over.
But he redeemed himself a few minutes later when he sliced another free kick – which was much closer to the Botswana goals – into the net.
Botswana gave Bafana some nervy moments especially towards the end of the game where they could have easily scored had it not been for Veli Mothwa who pulled off good saves to stop them.
Bafana also had some good chances in the dying minutes but they just could not find the right balls in the final third to create clear cut chances.