Kermit Erasmus, Percy Tau and Andile Jali bring back Bafana Bafana dignity
Kermit Erasmus, Percy Tau and Andile Jali were on target for Bafana Bafana as the home side routed Guinea Bissau 3-1 in an international friendly played at Moses Mabhida stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Playing in drizzling rain, the home team were too powerful for Guinea Bissau and with better finishing, the scoreline could have been much higher. So dominant was Bafana that they spent most of the afternoon camped in the visitors’ own half.
But interim coach Owen da Gama will be pleased with the team’s showing going into Tuesday’s friendly with Angola.
It was an entertaining performance which kept the buoyant Durban crowd on their toes for the entire 90 minutes.
The match started at a furious pace and Guinea Bissau fashioned their first opportunity in the 6th minute when Silva Sa broke free but hesitated to shoot, and the Bafana defence cleared the danger.
Keagan Dolly then took a free-kick on the edge of the box, but his swerving effort was well saved by Guinea Bissau keeper Papa Mabaye before Tebogo Langerman’s cross found no takers.
With a congested midfield, the match was bogged down in the middle of the pitch with few scoring chances created.
Kermit Erasmus was then put through by Dolly, but was robbed of the ball when he was about to pull the trigger in the 29th minute.
Moments later, Themba Zwane saw his deflected shot come close to beating Mabaye, but Guinea Bissau somehow survived again.
Serero was then brought down in the 35th minute inside the box, and Kermit Erasmus made no mistake from the spot to give Bafana Bafana a deserved 1-0 lead.
It could have been 2-0 in the 38th minute as the South African strikers took turns to work the ball inside the box, but Guinea Bissau cleared.
Serero then back passed when he had only the keeper to beat as the visitors continued to live on borrowed time.
Serero was close again in the 55th minute when he met a cross from Langerman but Mabaye was alert to the danger.
Zwane was then pulled out in the 57th minute for Andile Jali, who started on the bench before Lebogang Manyama and Percy Tau came onto the pitch for Erasmus and Kamohelo Mokotjo.
Tau made his presence felt moments later when he scored a great goal in the 70th minute. He was put through by Dolly in a quick counter-attack, saw the keeper off his line and powered an angled shot into the back of the net to announce his arrival on the big stage.
Guinea Bissau then pulled one back on the 78th minute as the Bafana defence went to sleep.
Serero could have atoned for his misses on the 80th minute, but his shot went narrowly wide of the diving Mabaye as the home team fought to reinstate their two-goal advantage.
Tau could have completed an audacious move towards the end of the game, but his back-heel lacked enough power as the match swung from one end to the other.
South Africa earned a second penalty when Hlompho Kekana was brought down in the box. and Andile Jali made sure of the attempt to score the third goal for Bafana.