27 September 2013
Bafana Bafana will next be in action on 11 October, when they take on Morocco in a friendly international at the Agadir New Stadium in Agadir City. South Africa’s coach Gordon Igesund is looking forward to the outing.
Morocco is following in the footsteps of South Africa and will host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon). Bafana Bafana has been invited to be part of the celebrations to open one of the stadiums for the tournament.
Igesund told the South African Football Association he was excited about the invitation.
“We go there with a two-pronged approach: to see conditions in Morocco as they are the next Afcon hosts and also to start preparations for the qualifiers of that tournament,” Igesund explained in a statement on Wednesday.
“There are only two Fifa calendar dates between the CHAN (African Nations Championship) tournament and the September qualifiers in 2014, so it is important to take advantage of this invitation and also have a feel of how things are in Morocco.
‘Strike a balance’
“We would also take this opportunity to include some of the players who will feature in the CHAN tournament to strike a balance,” he added.
Bafana Bafana will have to field its strongest available squad for the clash in Agadir City as per a contractual agreement between the Moroccan Football Federation and the South African Football Association (Safa).
and South Africa shared a memorable contest in the Africa Cup of Nations in January. After a pulsating showdown, the teams drew 2-2, which left South Africa top of Group A after a win and two draws, and the Lions of the Atlas out of the tournament after three draws.
The Moroccans took an early lead in Durban, with central defender Issam El Adoua giving them the lead with a header from close range from a corner. Certainly in the early going, the North Africans made Bafana Bafana look very nervous at set pieces.
With time running out and tension mounting, South Africa were at last back on level terms in the 71st minute after May Mahlangu curled a wonderful shot past goalkeeper Nadir Lamyaghri which, with the way matters stood at that time, put Bafana Bafana on a path to the next round.
Only 10 minutes remained, however, when Morocco again hit the front through substitute Abdelilah Hafidi, which silenced the huge, South African support momentarily.
An animated coach Igesund urged his charges on and they found a response, levelling matters four minutes from the end of regulation time through a well-taken strike from central defender Siyabonga Sangweni.
Finally, the whistle sounded to ensure South Africa’s progress and Morocco’s demise.
SOUTH AFRICA vs MOROCCO
- 1998, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: SA 2-1 Morocco
- 2002, Segou, Mali: SA 3-1 Morocco
- 2004, Sousse, Morocco: Morocco 1-1 SA
- 2013, Durban, South Africa: SA 2-2 Morocco
SAinfo reporter and South African Football Association