8 September 2012
It took a late strike for five-time world champions Brazil to beat South Africa 1-0 in a friendly international to mark the symbolic handover from the previous to the forthcoming Fifa World Cup hosts in Sao Paulo on Friday evening.
With goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune pulling off a number of stunning saves, it took until 15 minutes from the end of the match for the Brazilians to decide the match, with Givanildo Vieira de Souza – commonly known as Hulk – latching onto a rebound and firing home.
Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said before the game that his team would play attacking football, and the South Africans created a number of chances, with Siphiwe Tshabalala firing wide on eight minutes and Siboniso Gaxa forcing the save from Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Alves soon after.
Early in the second half, Gaxa and Lerato Chabangu both had good long-range shots that went narrowly high, while Tshabalala’s late attempt at an equaliser went wide.
For the most part, however, Brazil were well in control of the game – but Dede, Neymar and Daniel Alves all failed to get the better of Khune, with Neymar in particular having a number of efforts saved by the South African ‘keeper.
Igesund said afterwards that he was happy with his first game in charge of the national team.
“I’m very satisfied with the result. We created quite a few good chances, and this was a good start for us.”
Khune said that Bafana had not been cowed by their illustrious opponents.
“We came here and we meant business,” Khune said. “The nation should be proud.”