Bafana Bafana held to one-all friendly draw by visiting Namibia
CAPE TOWN - Despite their domination from start to finish, Bafana Bafana were held to a 1-all draw by visiting Namibia in their friendly clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, on Thursday evening.
Bafana Bafana opted to go into the match without several of their seasoned campaigners like Thulani Hlatshwayo, Andile Jali, Themba Zwane and Darren Keet in an effort to expose some Under-23 players to international competition.
There were some promising signs from this experimental Bafana Bafana side from the outset as they worked the ball upfield on the back of an excellent passing game. Namibia allowed them so much time on the ball and they enjoyed several early sorties into the opposition goalmouth.
Nothing came of Bafana Bafana's seventh-minute corner but there were tell-tale signs that a goal imminent as they continued to exert pressure.
However, when the goal did emerge 10 minutes later, it was as a result of a dreadful mess in Namibia's defence. After Keagan Dolly made an interception, he fed Kermit Erasmus who drew the defence before laying on a scoring pass for Luther Singh (1-0).
It was the Portugal-based Singh's maiden goal for the national team in his only second appearance.
FT: It ends all square here at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) October 8, 2020
Bafana Bafana 1-1 Namibia
Midway through the opening half, Namibia started tightening up their zonal marking but Bafana Bafana continued to hold the upper hand and enjoyed a 61% possession advantage.
However, other than the fortuitous goal, Bafana Bafana had nothing else to show for their first-half efforts. There are at least three gilt-edged scoring chances which went begging.
On the stroke of halftime, Peter Shalulile, Namibia's lone striker in their 4-2-3-1 formation came close to scoring. He outstripped Bafana Bafana's defence as he chased after a massive upfield punt, but his scoring effort went well wide.
After the break, Bafana Bafana continued where they left off and in search for a further goal.
Instead, against the run of play, a Namibian counter-attack provided the platform for them to land the equaliser through midfielder Absalom Limbondi, who held on to a Dynamo Fredericks pass. Limbondi's shot carried between the legs of Ronwen Williams, Bafana Bafana's goalkeeper.
The goal helped to lift Namibia's play a fair bit and Bafana Bafana were forced into a greater sense of urgency, and they responded with a wave of attacks into the opposition half.
In the final 15 minutes, Namibia's defence repelled one attack after the other although Bafana Bafana failed to create clear-cut scoring chances.
Of course, the host of personnel changes in the second half did not help with cohesion on both sides, but it was a match that Bafana Bafana will look back with regret after they were forced to share the spoils.
Bafana Bafana will return to the venue on Sunday afternoon for a friendly against Cosafa rivals Zambia.