Mauritania Embarrasses South Africa

Mauritania embarrassed South Africa 3-1 in their second fixture of the qualifiers for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations at the Stade Olympique de Nouakchott on Saturday.  Shakes Mashaba and his men found themselves on the back foot as the hosts attacked from the first whistle.  With the crowd urging their players on Itumeleng Khune was called into action in just the first minute of the game. 
 
The Bafana keeper punched away a good cross that came in from the left hand side of defence.  Three minutes later however the captain for the day mistimed the flight of a free kick.  He made an easy save but saw the ball slip out of his hands and hit the inside of the net. 
 
What followed was a poor performance from the away team.  Tokelo Rantie did not look match fit, occasionally being slow to get of the mark and run into spaces.  Thamsanqa Gabuza looked out of ideas as the midfield could not gel with the rest of the team and predictably it was 1-0 at half-time with the visitors looking impotent.

Four minutes into the second half, Siyabonga Zulu was sent off for obstructing a player who looked destined to score.  Playing with one man short did not diminish the hopes of the players as Gabuza drew level in the 68th minute with a header.  The Orlando Pirates striker met a cross from Anele Ngcongca to head home and calm Mashaba’s nerves. 
 
The celebrations lasted for only nine minutes.  In the 77th minute Eric Mathoho was outwitted and expolited.  His lapse of concentration gave Babacar Bagili the opportunity to pull his country ahead and he made no mistake.

Four minutes from time Mathoho and his partner Rivaldo Coetzee were left for dead as Diakite Ismael scored from an impressive solo effort to kill off the encounter.  Ismael beat five South Africa defenders in all as he snaked his way through untouched before beating Khune.  Having drawn 0-0 against Gambia, Bafana Bafana occupy the bottom spot of Group M with Cameroon and the Scorpions set for action on Sunday.
 
SA starting XI: Itumeleng Khune (GK) (c), Anele Ngcongca, Rivaldo Coetzee, Eric Mathoho, Siyabonga Zulu, Andile Jali, Dean Furman, Thulani Serero, Mandla Masango, Thamsanqa Gabuza, Tokelo Rantie
 
Subs: Jackson Mabokgwane (GK), Clayton Daniels, Bongani Zungu, Mzikayise Mashaba, Mpho Makola, Ayanda Patosi, Sibusiso Vilakazi
 
Mauritania XI: Salahdin (gk) -1, Ndiaye Oumar (c) – 13,  Abeid All -3,  Ba Abdoul- 5,  Diaw el Moustapha – 2,  Yaly Mohamned Delah – 14, Denna Taehiyiullah -14, Gueye Abdoulaye – 6, Diakite Ismael – 7,  Ba Adama – 10,  Khalil Ahmed -11
 
Subs: 16-Jeddou Mohammed,  4-Wade Mohamed,  8-Bakhayoeho Moussa,  15-Moussa Samba,  12-Niass Amadou,  9-Yatma Abdellahi,  18-Babacar Bagili