|9. (78’)||7. (28’)|
Mphela saves Bafana
A goal 12 minutes from time by Katlego Mphela saved South African blushes as Bafana Bafana played to a 1-1 draw against Ethiopia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Sunday after Saladin Said gave the visitors the lead in the first half.
The result means the Central Africa Republic top Group A of the African 2014 World Cup qualifiers with three points after they beat Botswana the day before. The draw means Bafana and Ethiopia sit joint second on a point a piece.
The game was one certainly dominated by the home side as they controlled the possession stakes in both the first half and the second half.
But as South African fans have become accustom, their team, despite their dominance were unable to make the pressure count on the score sheet.
Instead, it was a case of numerous chances in front of goal, but Bafana were still unable to find the back of the net more than once.
South Africa started well and Anele Ngcongca tested the Ethiopian keeper as early as the second minute when he fired a shot on goal from just outside the left edge of the box. Sesay Basa, though, produced a good save diving to his left.
Two minutes later and Ngcongca turned provider as he slipped Siyabonga Nomvethe through on goal, but with just the keeper to beat he shot wide from a narrow angle on the right side of the six-yard box.
It was all Bafana thereafter and the Ethiopian goal, which was scored in the 28th minute, undoubtedly came very much against the run of play.
A poor back pass by Siphiwe Tshabalala to Tsepo Masilela saw Saladin Said pounce on the loose ball and the Ethiopian attacker made his way to goal – driving forward into the box before unleashing his shot into the roof of the net from 16-yards out, 1-0.
Shortly after Bafana suffered another set-back as Masilela had to leave the field injured in the 34th minute and was replaced by Punch Masenamela.
The half ended 1-0 in favour of the visitors.
The second 45 followed a very similar pattern to that of the first with the first real chance of the half coming in the 65th minute.
Steven Pienaar curled a delicately placed ball into the box from the right and Mphela did brilliantly to get onto the cross with a diving header from six-yards out, but Basa was up to the task with fantastic close range save.
Finally, in the 78th minute, Bafana were able to make their pressure count as Mphlea found the back of the net after a mistake in defence allowed him space inside the box and he made no mistake with a clinical finish into the top right hand corner, 1-1.
Bafana pressed hard to find the winner in the last minutes of the match, but it was not to be for the home side as the game ended all square.