Bafana player ratings: Captain’s performance from Ronwen Williams
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Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana consolidated their spot at the top of Group G after beating Ethiopia 3-1 away from.
The win sees Hugo Broos’ men briefly open op a four-point lead at the top of the group, with Zimbabwe and Ghana still to play.
Below, IOL Sport’s Mihlali Baleka looks at how each player performed on the day.
1. Ronwen Williams:
Arguably Bafana’s best player in the first half, Williams made some telling saves to keep his team in the lead heading into the interval. There was nothing that he could do with Getaneh Kebede’s close-range free-kick. 8/10.
2. Nyiko Mobbie:
Mobbi was comfortable on the right flank. He pushed up in the early stages of the matches, whipping some crosses – although they were futile. He provided the long-range throw-in that resulted in Bafana’s second goal. 7/10.
21. Terrence Mashego:
Mashego had a nervy start to his international debut. The home side’s first chance of the game was created from his by-line. Mashego grew with the game, making some crucial tackles and was influential going forward. 6/10.
3. Rushine De Reuck:
De Reuck nearly cost his team in the first half, missing a tackle as the last man. But he was saved from the blushes after Williams blocked the pin-point shot. De Reuck had a quiet second half - but barely put a foot wrong. 6/10.
4. Siyanda Xulu:
Xulu had Bafana's real chance of the game, but he put his free header from a Mokoena set-piece wide of goal. Xulu, once again, showed his experience in defence, holding the hands of youngsters when the home side attacked. 6.5/10.
14. Mothobi Mvala:
Mvala made inroads into the Ethiopians’ box early in the game. But his crosses and efforts didn’t bear any immediate fruits – as he had to track back. Mvala finished the game as he started. He found the crucial second goal. 8/10.
5. Teboho Mokoena:
Mokoena had a quiet start. But it was his effort from set-piece that forced a howler from the Ethiopians’ goalie that resulted in Bafana’s opener. Mokoena continued to put another solid display in the midfield alongside Mvala. 7/10.
15. Ethan Brooks:
He may not have been as influential as he was expected to be – with supplies to the striking contingent – but Brooks hardly put a foot wrong early. But overall, it was not the best day in the office for the youngster, who was replaced by Maart. 5/10.
11. Thabiso Kutumela:
Kutumela was a late inclusion into the line-up after Vincent Pule got injured at training. He had a slow start but burst into life with a piledriver in the first half. He conceded the set-piece from which Ethiopia equalised from. 6.5/10.
12. Bongokuhle Hongwane:
Bafana’s hero in the last qualifier against Ghana, Hlongwane nearly muddied his reputation after he lost possession in his own half, but Williams saved him from the blushes. Hlongwane finished the game impressively. 7/10.
7. Tshegofatso Mabasa:
Mabasa was only in the game until the 35th minute before he was substituted after sustaining a knock to his right ankle. While on the pitch, though, the Orlando Pirates striker hadn’t much to earn a rating due to little supply.
6. Yusuf Maart:
Maart replaced Brooks and marshalled Bafana’s engine room well with his quick feet. He also made a telling contribution, assisting Makgopa who sealed all three points for Bafana in the grand manner late in the game. 6.5/10.
17. Victor Letsoalo:
A direct substitution for the injured Mabasa, Letsoalo was expected to hold up play for his teammates up front. But he, too, didn’t have an impact due to little supply. Even with the progression of the game, Letsoalo didn’t pitch. 5/10.
9. Evidence Makgopa:
Despite being a late sub, Makgopa scored Bafana’s last goal that sealed all three points for them. Before that, though, he was denied by the crossbar from close-range, benefitting from a Hongwane well-timed delivery. 7/10.