Afcon15: Bruising beginning for Bafana

20 January 2015

Bafana Bafana got their 2015 Africa Cup of Nations off to a negative start as they suffered a 3-1 defeat against Algeria in their opening Group C clash in Mongomo on Monday night.

A missed penalty, an own goal, and a goalkeeping blip somewhat conspired to undo what could have otherwise been a fine display of football by the South Africans.

Following a slow start to the match, Bafana Bafana slowly picked up pace and could have gone into the break in a commanding role.

Missed opportunities

A great run by Vilakazi towards the end of the first half could have resulted in a goal, but the Algerian keeper was quick to come out and collect. A minute later, another opportunity for Bafana went to waste as the keeper blocked Jali’s shot.

Just past the half-hour mark, young defender Rivaldo Coetzee was forced off the field through injury. The player was clearly distraught as he left the field on a stretcher and Siyabonga Nhlapho came on in his place.

Captain Dean Furman rattled the Algerian woodwork in the 23rd minute with a rasping shot following a fine pass from Rantie. A minute later, Rantie was set free but his effort went just wide – chances which came back to haunt the South Africans.

Calm collection

Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Darren Keet was not a spectator in this half, although he didn not seem too overwhelmed by the Algerians. Brahimi fired a testing shot in the 20th minute, which Keet calmly collected.

Brahimi and Slimani were quite a handful for the Bafana Bafana defence, but the rainbow warriors did just fine. On the other side, Jali and Furman kept the Algerians busy in central midfield.

Thuso Phala scored his second international goal to put Bafana Bafana in the lead following a great build up between Tokelo Rantie and Sibusiso Vilakazi in the 51st minute.

A few minutes later, another great attacking move by Bafana Bafana saw Vilakazi taken out in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Rantie stepped up but rammed his effort against the crossbar.

Against the ropes

Up to this point, the Algerians were clearly against the ropes and Bafana Bafana needed to land the killer blow. But that just did not happen and the Algerians slowly made their way back into the game.

Algeria launched an attack which saw Darren Keet make a double save to deny Slimani.

Then Algeria grabbed the equaliser in the 65th minute with Thulani Hlatshwayo heading the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear danger. The Algerians went ahead on the 72nd minute through Ghoulam with a thunderous shot – although Keet could have done better.

Algeria scored their third goal in the 83rd minute, through Slimani who slipped the ball under the keeper’s diving body in a rare howler by the tall goalkeeper.

How the teams lined up

SA XI vs Algeria: 16-Darren Keet (GK), 6-Anele Ngcongca, 11-Thabo Matlaba, 14-Thulani Hlatshwayo, 2-Rivaldo Coetzee, 15-Dean Furman (C), 5-Andile Jali, 20-Oupa Manyisa, 18-Thuso Phala, 10-Sibusiso Vilakazi, 23-Tokelo Rantie

Subs: 22-Jackson Mabokgwane (GK), 1-Brilliant Khuzwayo (GK), 21-Ayanda Gcaba, 13- Thamsanqa Sangweni, 19-Themba Zwane, 7-Mandla Masango, 8-Bongani Zungu, 17- Bernard Parker, 4-Siyabonga Nhlapho, 9-Bongani Ndulula

Suspended for the match: 3-Eric Mathoho, 12-Reneilwe Letsholonyane

Algeria: M’Boli, Mandi, Medjani, Halliche, Ghoulam, Feghouli, Bentaleb, Lacen, Mahrez, Brahimi, Slimani.

GROUP C FIXTURES

  • January 23 – Senegal v South Africa – Estadio de Mongomo: 9pm
  • January 27 – Ghana v South Africa – Estadio de Mongomo: 8pm

AFCON 2015 FIXTURES

All times CAT (SA, GMT+2)

Tuesday 20 January 2015

  • Cote d’Ivoire v Guinea – Nuevo Estadio de Malabo: 6pm
  • Mali v Cameroon – Nuevo Estadio de Malabo: 9pm

Wednesday 21 January 2015

  • Equatorial Guinea v Burkina Faso – Estadio de Bata: 6pm

Thursday 22 January 2015

  • Zambia v Tunisia – Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyin: 6pm
  • Cape Verde Islands v Congo DR – Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyin: 9pm

Friday 23 January 2015

  • Ghana v Algeria – Estadio de Mongomo: 6pm
  • South Africa v Senegal – Estadio de Mongomo: 9pm

Saturday 24 January 2015

  • Cote d’Ivoire v Mali – Nuevo Estadio de Malabo: 6pm

Sunday 25 January 2015

  • Gabon v Equatorial Guinea – Estadio de Bata: 8pm
  • Congo v Burkina Faso – Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyin: 8pm

Monday 26 January 2015

  • Cape Verde Islands v Zambia – Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyin: 8pm
  • Congo DR v Tunisia – Estadio de Bata: 8pm

Tuesday 27 January 2015

  • South Africa v Ghana – Estadio de Mongomo: 8pm
  • Senegal v Algeria – Nuevo Estadio de Malabo: 8pm

Wednesday 28 January 2015

  • Guinea v Mali – Estadio de Mongomo: 8pm
  • Cameroon v Cote d’Ivoire – Nuevo Estadio de Malabo: 8pm

Saturday 31 January 2015

  • Group A Winner v Group B Second Place – Estadio de Bata: 6pm
  • Group B Winner v Group A Second Place – Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyin: 9pm

Sunday 1 February 2015

  • Group C Winner v Group D Second Place – Estadio de Mongomo: 6pm
  • Group D Winner v Group C Second Place – Nuevo Estadio de Malabo: 9pm

Wednesday 4 February 2015

  • Quarterfinal 1 Winner v Quarterfinal 4 Winner – Estadio de Bata: 9pm

Thursday 05 February 2015

  • Quarterfinal 2 Winner v Quarterfinal 3 Winner – Nuevo Estadio de Malabo: 9pm

Saturday 07 February 2015

  • Semifinal 1 Loser v Semifinal 2 Loser – Nuevo Estadio de Malabo: 8pm

Sunday 08 February 2015

  • Semifinal 1 Winner v Semifinal 2 Winner – Estadio de Bata: 9pm

Source: South African Football Association