BAFANA LOSE TO SUPER EAGLES
By: Nhlanhla Ndlovu
Uche Nwafor came off the bench to score a brace against Bafana Bafana giving the African champions a convincing victory in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday.
Both sides had a number of chances but Nigeria proved to be stronger in the second half after making crucial changes with the Nwafor, Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa to add their attacking force.
“I knew the South Africans were planning on them starting so I kept them for an impact in the second half,” said Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi after the match.
The opening goal came on the 49th minute as Nwafor found himself unmarked inside the box to beat Itumeleng Khune with a spectacular back-heel.
South Africa created several chances trying to equalize but were let down by poor shooting, particularly after making space for themselves on the edge of the Nigeria box.
Nwafor got his second goal in the 68th minute after a great combination of passing movement between Moses and Musa which led to Nwafor’s brace.
Bafana pushed forward in search of their first goal of the match but the substitute Lerato Chabangu shot over the crossbar in the 76th minute before Parker also curled his free kick over the target two minutes later.
The home side had more chances to score one goal back but Siphiwe Tshabalala saw his free kick deflected wide in the 88th minute.
Bafana coach Gordon Igesund felt Nigeria made better use of the ball in the final third.
“The first half was evenly matched but as the game wore on they became much better in the last third. In the second half, we gave the ball away quite cheaply” Igesund told reporters.
Bafana will host Afcon runners-up Burkina Faso in another friendly on Saturday at the FNB Stadium.
“The weekend ahead is a great occasion.These games are important preparation for Botswana in the World Cup qualifier, so we will try to get a positive result,” Igesund added.