Bafana Bafana continued their dominance over Swaziland with a hard-fought 3-1 victory in an international friendly match played at Somhlolo Stadium on Wednesday. It was the sixth meeting between the two Cosafa rivals with Bafana Bafana yet to taste defeat by Sihlangu Semnikati. The host might have fancied their chances as they went into the break with the score deadlocked at 0-0.
However, Shakes Mashaba’s men turned on the magic in the second half to exert their dominance over the hosts. Goals from captain of the day Thulani “Tyson” Hlatshwayo, Thabo Mnyamane and Mandla Masango ensured victory for the South Africans. Felix Badenhorst got the consolation for the hosts.
The game started at a slow pace but Bafana Bafana dominated the early exchanges. The first real chance fell to the Swazis in the 18th minute but veteran Tony Tsabedze shot wide. Mnyamane was a constant threat to the home side and it was only a matter of time before he punished them.
For the most part the hosts appeared to deal well with his threat as the game went into the break deadlocked at 0-0 as Swaziland finished the half the stronger side. Bafana Bafana made their first change at the end of the first half with Siphelele Ntshangase coming on for Lehlohonolo Majoro. They also replaced Itumeleng Khune with Jackson Mabokgwane at the start of the second half.
The visitors then took the lead in the 50th minute through captain Hlatshwayo with a fine header. Two minutes later the hosts were once again rattled with Mnyamane making it 2-0 following a fine pass from Thulani Serero. It was Mnyamane’s debut goal.
There were some anxious moments for Bafana Bafana soon after that as goalkeeper Mabokgwane suffered an injured that threatened to end his game. After some time with the medical team, he appeared fine but Swaziland sensed an opportunity. Badenhorst pull a goal back for Swaziland in the 66th minute as the hosts piled on the pressure.
For the most part they were pumping in long balls hoping to catch Mabokgwane off guard. Then Mandla Masango eased the pressure off the visitors with five minutes to go. Mashaba’s men held on for a 3-1 victory and a perfect record against their southern African neighbours. They will return to South Africa on Thursday to continue preparations for the friendly international against Nigeria scheduled for Sunday at Mbombela Stadium.
Photo credit: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix