South Africa has won the 2015 Nelson Mandela Challenge thanks to a 1-0 victory against Senegal on Tuesday night at Orlando Stadium. Bafana Bafana started the match at a high pace moving forward but losing momentum right after crossing the halfway line. Mpho Makola’s shot went over the bar in the 15th minute after a fast build up from the home side going forward.
The hosts were denied a penalty in the 21st minute after Thamsanqa Gabuza was brought down in the box. Orlando Pirates striker Makola’s shot went inches wide from a free kick after Sibusiso Vilakazi was brought down just outside the box by Senegalese captain Stephane Budji. A minute later, Itumeleng Khune made a brilliant save from Budji’s shot to deny the visitors.
Gabuza’s shot hit the cross bar in the 41st minute after finding himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Khadim Ndiaye. The Lions of Teranga started the second half convincingly but failed to connect with the final touch. Bidvest Wits striker Sibusiso Vilakazi missed what was the best chance of the game in the 62nd minute after his shot went wide finding himself one-on-one with Ndiaye.
Anele Ngcongca was given a yellow card following a professional foul on Issa Cissokho in the 68th minute. Sadio Mane’s cross failed to connect with his teammates in the box going straight to Itumeleng Khune in the 72nd minute as the west African searched for an opening. But it would be Shakes Mashaba’s men who would break the deadlock.
Six minutes later debutant Makola netted a beautiful scorcher from range just outside the box to give the South Africans the lead. Aliou Cisse’s charges pushed forward looking for a response which saw Mane forcing Khune to make a save punching the ball away. The Kaizer Chiefs keeper made yet another good save after a shot from Alioune Ndiaye in the 86th minute as Mashaba’s men secured the victory and restored some pride after the 3-1 humiliation in Mauritania just three days earlier.
Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI