SAFA : Bafana Bafana held by Cameroon
Bafana Bafana were held to a goalless draw by visiting Cameroon as for the second time running there was little to separate the two teams, meaning South Africa’s chances of qualifying for AFCON 2017 have almost gone up in smokes.
Having drawn Saturday’s encounter 2-2 in Limbe, Shakes Mashaba’s boys needed all the three points to remain in the hunt for a place at the AFCON finals in the tiny Central African country. But few chances that came Bafana Bafana’s way were not good enough to trouble Cameroon who remain undefeated in the Group.
Debutant Sandile Hlanti was the first to trouble the Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph Ondoa with a free-kick outside the box.
Moments later, overlapping defender Thulani Hlatshwayo could have done better with a free header but with only the keeper to beat, he directed his effort on the ground allowing Ondoa to make a last ditch save.
Cameroon sat back and relied mostly on counter-attacks especially from their captain Vincent Aboubakar who was a lone striker upfront.
Somehow, most of the first half pace was literally pedestrian, something that suited the visitors well.
But after the break, the pace turned into frantic effort mostly from the home side as they chased the elusive goal.
With both teams failing to find the opening goal, tempers flared up in the middle of the pitch when Aboubakar lashed at Andile Jali but the Burkina Faso referee failed to caution the Cameroonian captain when a second yellow card would have meant Cameroon finishing with 10 men.
In the last 10 minutes, Cameroon threw all their men behind the ball frustrating the home side but substitute Prince Nxumalo could have snatched the winner at the death as somehow Cameroon survived yet another penalty appeal.
Both coaches were of the opinion that the second half was an open affair and with a bit of some luck either side could have won it.
South Africa starting 11 vs Cameroon in Durban:
Itumeleng Khune (GK) (c), Thulani Hlatshwayo, Sifiso Hlanti, Rivaldo Coetzee, Erick Mathoho, Thulani Serero, Andile Jali, Hlompho Kekana, Mandla Masango, Tokelo Rantie, Thamsanqa Gabuza
Subs: Jackson Mabokgwane, Siyabonga Nhlapho, Asavela Mbekile, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Jabulani Shongwe, Ndumiso Mabena, Prince Nxumalo