Bafana Bafana score late to claim famous victory over Ghana at FNB Stadium
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JOHANNESBURG – Bongokuhle Hlongwane was the hero after scoring the solitary goal that gave Bafana Bafana a famous win over Ghana in their World Cup qualifier at the FNB Stadium on Monday night.
With this win, Bafana climbed to the top of their group with four points. They drew with Zimbabwe in their opening match away on Friday in what Hugo Broos’ first game as Bafana's commander in chief since he took over the reins from Molefi Ntseki in May.
Bafana may not have been clinical enough or let down by poor officiating after being disallowed a genuine goal in the first half, but they got the job done through Hlongwane, to get their first win in Group G.
After that draw against The Warriors, Bafana came into the match knowing that they needed all the spoils if they were to get their qualification campaign up and running. Broos, as a result, made two changes to the team that played in Harare last week Friday.
Hlongwane, who came off the bench against Zimbabwe and made an impact, and Ethan Brooks started ahead of Gift Links and Luther Singh. Bafana, though, had a nervy start after Rushine De Reuck committed a foul close to the 18-area.
But the Bafana defender walked away with a caution for the foul on Andre Ayew, while the resultant set-piece from Mubarak Wakaso was easily saved by Ronwen Williams. The Black Stars, though, continued to pile on the pressure going forward.
However, Bafana held on in the earlier stages. With the progression of the game, the South Africans started to find their feet in the game. Hlongwane was Bafana’s liveware, but unfortunately, he was watched like a hawk by the Ghanaian defence.
But perhaps Bafana’s first real chance came after the half-an-hour mark. Tebogo Mokoena’s long-range free-kick was parried back to play by Richard Ofori but the resultant rebound was unceremoniously blasted over the crossbar by Mothobi Mvala.
Bafana did put the ball in the back of the net, though. But Percy Tau header was judged for an offside, albeit replay showing otherwise. The two teams went into the interval still deadlocked but Bafana were the better side in terms of pressing.
The South Africans should have found the lead early in the second half after Ofori nearly caused a blunder by miskicking the ball after a curling cross from Mokoena. But Makgoba didn’t anticipate the loose ball as a result he put his sliding effort wide of goal.
In the end though, Hlongwane chirped in with the goods, sliding a late goal which came off the upright before rolling into the back of the net. South Africa will be eager to continue with the momentum when they meet Ethiopia in their next game next month.