Bafana Bafana and Ghana played to a 1-1 draw in their CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the FNB Stadium on Thursday evening.
Both teams move to 10 points in Groups C, with Ghana topping the group, but the ramifications to qualify for the finals in Cameroon remain the same for South Africa, they must not lose to Sudan away on Sunday.
South Africa 1-1 Ghana
It was almost one nil to Bafana in the fifth minute, but Thapelo Morena’s effort went into the side-netting. There was some good build-up play between Percy Tau and Themba Zwane, before the ball rolled to an unmarked Morena, who will be disappointed with his shot.
Bafana controlled the possession, though much of the build-ups were very slow. The Black Stars looked content to try and hit on the counter attack.
Tau had a chance in the 18th minute, but his headed attempt from a S’fiso Hlanti cross was never goal bound. Moments later Hlanti had a chance from just outside the area, but his goal-bound shot was well saved by Razak Abalora.
Bafana were dealt a blow when Andile Jali had to replaced in the 25rd minute, after going down with a pulled muscle, and Ben Motshwari came on for his debut.
Mubarak Wakaso had Ghana’s first attempt at goal in the 28th minute, but his free kick attempt from far out, was tame and straight at Ronwen Williams.
Monare had another chance in the 31st minute after Tau did well to set him up, but once again Morena hit the side-netting.
Afriyie Aquah’s attempt in the 39th minute from outside the box was blocked by the Bafana defence.
But there were no goals in the first half and the teams went into the break level.
Ghana took the lead five minutes in the second half, Mohammed Kudus getting into the box before hitting a low shot past Ronwen Williams,.
But two minutes later Bafana were level through Tau, as he was played in down the right by Ruzaigh Gamildien, and Tau placed the ball neatly past Abalora into the far corner.
Substitute Luther Singh tried from long range in the 75th minute, but his attempt was never on target, and went wide, and a minute later Hlanti shot high and wide.
Aquah had an attempt in the 79th minute from outside the box, and it went just wide of Williams’ goal.
A minute later Innocent Maela’s effort from long range forced another good save by Abalora.
Rivaldo Coetzee had a shot in the 87th minute, but his attempt from a first time volley went high and wide.
But in the end the two teams couldn’t be separated, and it ended 1-1.
Percy Tau was named Man of the Match. Tau also became the joint top scorer in these qualifiers, as he joined Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen on 4 goals.
How the teams lined-up:
South Africa: Ronwen Williams, S’fiso Hlanti, Thapelo Morena, Innocent Maela, Siyanda Xulu, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Rivaldo Coetzee, Andile Jali (off ’25), Themba Zwane (off ’89), Percy Tau, Ruzaigh Gamildien (off ’63)
Substitutes: Itumeleng Khune, Thibang Phete, Craig Martin, Vincent Pule, Thabo Nodada, Sipho Mbule, Ben Motshwari (on ’25), Thabang Monare, Lyle Foster, Luther Singh (on ’63), Lebohang Maboe (on 89′)
Ghana: Razak Abalora, Benson Anang, Baba Abdul Rahman, Nicholas Opoku, Ganiyu Ismail, Afriyie Acquah, Kwame Pokus, Mubarak Wakaso, Caleb Ekuban (off ’72), Mohammed Kudus, Emmanuel Gyasi (off ’89)
Substitutes: Eric Ofori Antwi, Danlad Ibrahim, Emmanuel Boateng (on ’89), Kwasi Okyere Wriedt, John Antwi, Osman Bukari, Gladson Awako, Emmanuel Lomotey (on ’72), Justice Blay, Yusuf Mubarak, Joseph Adjei, Imoro Ibrahim.