JOHANNESBURG: GROUP C of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations has lived up to its top billing as South Africa and Senegal and South Africa played a one-all draw to blow the group wide open.
Following the second pool of matches, Senegal are top with four points, Ghana and Algeria have three points each while Bafana Bafana are bottom with a single point and a mathematical but faint chance of progressing.
South Africa and Senegal shared the spoils at the Estadio de Mongomo on Friday evening. The Bafana Bafana head coach, Ephraim Mashaba, rang the changes in the team following the 3-1 loss to Algeria in the opening match of the two sides, the worst result by any team so far.
Dareen Keet paid the price for his lacklustre performance against the Desert Foxes to make way for Jackson Mabokgwane between the posts. Eric Mathoho came in for the injured Rivaldo Coetzee at centreback.
The first real chance came ten minutes into the match when Anele Ngcongca’s rasping shot was well saved as South Africa sought to coin an opener. The resultant corner was cleared to safety. Moments later, Thuso Phala’s goalbound effort was blocked inside the box as the South Africans pressed for an opener.
While Senegal seemed content absorbing the pressure and offering little going forward for Bafana it was the same old story-chances aplenty but no goals.
Pressure would nonetheless pay off when Oupa Manyisa finished cooly inside the box to give the creative but wasteful Bafana the lead from the restart.
Bafana’s defensive frailties would return to haunt them however minutes after the opener as Kara Mbodji was allowed too much sight of the ball, rising highest into the box to head home the equaliser in 59th minute.
The game would degenerate into a scrappy affair as none of the sides could carve a winner. Earlier, Ghana needed a last gasp winner to dismiss. Algeria 1-0.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY