Late goal sinks South Africa, but it could have been worse
South Africa have slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Poland in their international friendly in Warsaw on Friday night.
There were signs of promise from Gordon Igesund’s men, but they were outplayed by a home side who would have won by a greater margin, were it not for the brilliance of Itumeleng Khune in the Bafana Bafana goal.
The South Africans managed to keep the scoreline goalless until the 81st minute when Marcin Komorowski finally broke the deadlock for a dominant home team.
Bafana coach Gordin Igesund handed debuts to much talked about left-back Ricardo Nunes and Luvhengo Mungomeni, who operates at centre-back for his club Moroka Swallows, but was asked to fill in at right-back for this game.
Poland left out star striker Robert Lewandowski after he picked up a niggle in training, preferring to keep him for their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against England on Tuesday.
Poland might have been ahead inside the first few minutes, Nunes was caught out of position at left-back, but Adrian Mierzejewski missed the target
Artur Sobiech produced a stunning miss on 16 minutes when he simply had to tap the ball home from four yards to give the hosts the lead, but completely missed his kick Bafana were able to clear.
Bongani Khumalo flashed a header just wide of goal from Lerato Chabangu’s free-kick delivery, though the flag had already been raised for offside.
Poland beat the offside trap midway through the first half and Arkadiusz Piech had time and space to pick his spot with just Khune in the visitors’ goal, but the keeper came up with an outstanding sprawling stop.
South Africa had a strong shout for a penalty when Sifiso Myeni was clipped in the area by Poland’s Wszolek, but the referee waved play on. Replays showed definite contact and the hosts were fortunate that the decision went their way.
Dikgacoi should have given Bafana the lead five minutes into the second half when he met Nunes’ free-kick, but put his point-blank header agonizingly wide.
Khune produced another brilliant stop to deny Sobiech from close-range, the Polish forward really should have scored but the Kaizer Chiefs gloveman’s reflexes kept him at bay.
Poland’s Waldemar Sobota beat Nunes in the air at the back post but his header went the wrong side of the post. It was another fabulous opportunity for the hosts.
They did get their goal nine minutes from time when Nunes’ poor defending allowed the cross and Komorowski had the easiest of opportunities to score, which he took.Bafana thought they had equalized late on when Siyabonga Sangweni headed home, but his effort was correctly ruled offside.