Oh so easy for Bafana

But they could have notched up dou­ble fig­ures in qual­i­fier

Sunday Times - - Sport - By SAZI HADEBE at FNB Sta­dium

Bafana Bafana (3) 6 Sey­chelles 0

GOALS: Nigel Hoareau — own goal (23m); Thu­lani Hlatshwayo (25min), Lebo Moth­iba (27min), Percy Tau (74min), Dino Ndlovu (81min), Te­bogo Mokoena (90+2min)

● Bafana Bafana im­proved their chances of go­ing to the Africa Cup of Na­tions in Cameroon next year when they thrashed min­nows Sey­chelles with three quick first-half goals set­ting up an easy win at a rain-soaked sta­dium.

Bafana’s vic­tory took them to the top of Group E with seven points — three ahead of Libya who were to meet Nige­ria away in Uyo in a game which kicked off a few min­utes af­ter the Bafana game yes­ter­day.

The 6-0 score bet­tered Bafana’s 5-0 win over Gu­atemala in June 2010 in a World Cup warm-up friendly in Polok­wane.

The heavy pitch made things bet­ter for the vis­i­tors as Bafana strug­gled to push the ball around the way coach Stu­art Bax­ter had promised the team will have to do against a team which last won three years ago.

Pres­sure

With pres­sure to win weigh­ing heav­ily on Bafana af­ter their timid goal­less draw against Libya in Durban, they started ner­vously and missed a cou­ple of gilt-edged op­por­tu­ni­ties be­fore Sey­chelles de­fender Nigel Nigel Hoareau helped the home side with an own goal in the 23rd minute.

It came as a re­sult of the pres­sure from Bafana against a team which de­fended with 10 men and had noth­ing to play for af­ter los­ing both their open­ing matches away to Libya (5-1) in June last year and at home against Nige­ria (3-0) last month.

Nigel headed into his own net while try­ing to clear Thu­lani Hlatshwayo’s headed cross in­side the area af­ter link­ing up well with Kamo­h­elo Mokotjo, who had a stel­lar game along­side Dean Fur­man in the mid­dle of the park.

Barely two min­utes had elapsed when Bafana dou­bled their lead, this time Bafana skip­per Hlatshwayo scor­ing him­self af­ter con­nect­ing well with Aubrey Modiba, an­other Bafana player who had a good match play­ing on the left side of mid­field.

To their credit Bafana didn’t take their foot off the pedal af­ter Hlatshwayo’s goal and their press­ing game again paid off when the France-based striker Lebo Moth­iba scored his third Bafana goal in three matches — con­fi­dently thump­ing it home af­ter turn­ing a de­fender in­side out in­side the area af­ter re­ceiv­ing from livewire Modiba.

Bafana missed chances in the sec­ond half, the main cul­prit be­ing Moth­iba’s strik­ing part­ner Percy Tau, who missed sev­eral chances be­fore get­ting his sec­ond qual­i­fi­ca­tion goal in the 74th minute be­fore Dino Ndlovu and Te­bogo Mokoena wrapped up the scor­ing in the 81st and 92nd min­utes.

Tau, un­lucky not to open the scor­ing with a free kick that hit the up­right in the first half, fin­ished with aplomb af­ter an as­sist from Moth­iba.

The for­mer Mamelodi Sun­downs striker also scored against Nige­ria in Uyo when Bafana won 2-0 in their open­ing qual­i­fier in June last year.

Not get­ting as many goals in this match may come back to haunt Bafana in terms of goal dif­fer­ence if they fin­ish on the same num­ber of points as ei­ther Nige­ria or Libya.

But for the misses, Bafana could have eas­ily notched up dou­ble fig­ures.

Bafana will al­most seal qual­i­fi­ca­tion for Cameroon if they dou­ble their wins over the 189-ranked In­dian Ocean is­landers in the re­turn leg at the Stade Li­nite in Vic­to­ria on Tues­day. Af­ter the Sey­chelles on Tues­day Bafana will host Nige­ria in Johannesburg on Novem­ber 16 be­fore fin­ish­ing their qual­i­fiers against Libya in March next year.

Pic­ture: Back­pagePix

Bafana’s Buhle Mkhwanazi beats Perry Mon­naie to the ball dur­ing yes­ter­day’s Afcon qual­i­fier at the FNB Sta­dium.

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