Sene­gal sucker punch down-and-out Bafana

Daily News - - SPORT -

DAKAR: Hosts Sene­gal scored with vir­tu­ally the last play at Dakar’s Leopold Senghor Sta­dium last night to snatch a 2-1 win over South Africa in a fi­nal Group D World Cup qual­i­fy­ing game.

While the Sene­galese play­ers – who had qual­i­fied for the World Cup in Rus­sia next year with Fri­day’s 2-0 win over Bafana in Polok­wane – were able to cel­e­brate af­ter the game with their fans, the de­feat meant South Africa fin­ished rock bot­tom of the group.

All three goals came in the sec­ond half.

Bafana had seem­ingly been set to have at least earned a draw when Percy Tau had can­celled out Opa Nguette’s opener, only for the west Africans to score a 93rd-minute win­ner through Kara Mbodji.

Af­ter the game kicked off 10 min­utes late be­cause of a flood­light fail­ure, South Africa went on to en­joy the bet­ter of the first half ex­changes, some good press­ing in mid­field and a well-or­gan­ised de­fence en­sur­ing that Itume­leng Khune did not have a save to make.

The first op­por­tu­nity of the night fell to Mor­gan Gould, but the Su­perS­port United de­fender was un­able to keep his 10thminute vol­ley on tar­get.

Bafana were how­ever not overly am­bi­tious in the open­ing half an hour, ap­par­ently happy to con­tain the Teranga Lions, and their next chance only ar­rived in the 38th minute when Tau did su­perbly to chest the ball into Sibu­siso Vi­lakazi’s path, but al­though the shot was well-struck, it flew straight at goal­keeper Remi Gomis.

The vis­it­ing side ended the half strongly, al­though apart from a Sfiso Hlanti free-kick which was not far off, they never re­ally looked like scor­ing.

The home crowd fi­nally had some­thing to cheer about when Sene­gal scored 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half when Nguette chipped the ball into an empty net af­ter a bad error of judge­ment had left Khune stranded out­side his box.

Within seven min­utes South Africa had the per­fect chance to equalise when Themba Zwane went down un­der a chal­lenge from Yous­souf Sa­baly and a penalty was awarded. But Zwane choked un­der pres­sure and pulled the spot-kick well wide.

It was in­stead Tau who lev­elled the game just mo­ments later when he showed his class with a clin­i­cally-struck low shot across Gomis and in at the far post 1-1 af­ter 65 min­utes.

The game opened up and af­ter Sene­gal had twice come close with headed ef­forts, one of which hit the wood­work, Tau could have won the game for Bafana af­ter an 85th-minute counter-at­tack, but he fired straight at Gomis.

It was, how­ever, to be home team’s night as they scored deep in added time when Mbodji pow­ered in a header from a cor­ner kick as they cel­e­brated qual­i­fi­ca­tion for Rus­sia in win­ning style in the Sene­gal cap­i­tal. – ANA


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.