Thulani Serero didn't make much of an impact against Nigeria. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Bafana's quick response to early deficit

The Super Eagles started like a house on fire and they were ahead in the early stages of the first half. The visitors’ lead came through a deflection from Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanaza that beat a helpless Itumeleng Khune at his near post. Bafana chased for an immediate response as Percy Tau came one-on-one with goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa but the former took his time to pick a spot and Super Eagles’ defence quickly recovered. However, the former Sundowns’ man would soon make up for the error. With a mass of Nigerian defenders breathing down his neck, he cleverly chipped the ball to set himself one-on-one with Enzwena before unselfishly setting up an on-rushing Lebohang Mothiba for an easy tap-in.

Serero fails to pitch for his homecoming

Amid his ‘sharp-looking’ performances during camp last week, prodigal son Thulani Serero failed to bring his best on match-day. It was his first return to the team since his refusal to honour a call-up unless he was guaranteed game-time. Following his consistent performances for SBV Vitesse, Stuart Baxter recalled him for the match and gave him a starting berth but he was lacklustre. To everyone’s disappointment, a lot was expected from him considering that he played a key role in Bafana’s historic 2-0 win over the Super Eagles in the qualifiers’ opener in Uyo. Deservedly so, he was substituted for Thembinkosi Lorch in the 60th minute.

Bafana qualification delayed, Super Eagles are through

During half-time, clearly Bafana’s technical team told their troops that Libya was tearing islanders Seychelles apart and had to get a win in order to avoid the delay of qualifying for next year’s continental showpiece. Bafana produced a better performance in the last stages of the stanza, as they were quick going forward especially after the introduction of Lorch, but their finishing let them down. As a result, while they were missing chances, Nigeria did manage to put the ball into the back of the net but they were ruled offside. However, the draw was enough to book the Super Eagles’ flight ticket to the 2019 Afcon, while Bafana’s fate will be decided after their away trip to Libya early next year. 


Sunday Independent

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