Bafana maintained their unbeaten record in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers with a 3-0 win over CAR in Cameroon on Saturday afternoon
Central African Republic desperately wanted revenge over Bafana Bafana from their loss at the Cape Town Stadium back in March.
On neutral ground CAR attacked their South African opponents from the first whistle, but they could not trouble Bafana with any of their movements in the opening 10 minutes of the game.
Itumeleng Khune had to come off his line to deny CAR an opener in the 11th minute, in what looked like a blatant offside, as Bafana were initially under pressure in Cameroon.
Khune was again the difference a few minutes later, as CAR looked more dangerous when going forward, and the Bafana skipper positioned himself well to make a fine save.
May Mahlangu nearly opened the scoring mid-way through the first half when he unleashed from outside the box, but the CAR keeper Geoffrey Lembet parried for Bafana’s corner.
Bafana would then knock the ball around, looking for spaces behind the CAR defenders and they were finally rewarded for their patience in the 25th minute, when Bernard Parker was beautifully picked by Siphiwe Tshabalala, and the Chiefs’ top goalscorer pushed it past the keeper before he guided his shot into the empty net.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane should have doubled the lead in the 40th minute after beating the offside trap, but the CAR keeper came off his line to deny the dreadlocked midfielder.
However, Bafana were 2-0 up a minute later when Siphiwe Tshabalala rounded the CAR keeper to give Bafana breathing space.
Bafana started the second half well and they were comfortable with their build-ups from the back. Parker’s attempt was saved by the CAR keeper in the 48th minute, as Bafana looked to put the game beyond their opponents’ control.
The home side nearly pulled one back in the 49th minute when Ricardo Nunes was caught out of position, but Khune snatched the ball before it reached one of the CAR strikers.
Igesund then introduced Oupa Manyisa for Tokelo Rantie to try and frustrate their opponents, but CAR packed the midfield and often pushed forward for a goal.
Bafana then struggled with possession and couldn’t complete more than five passes, but they did well to deny CAR any goalscoring opportunity. At this stage it was turning into physical battle with tackles flying in.
Just when everybody thought no team would find the back of the net in the dying minutes, substitute Katlego Mashego connected with Manyisa’s cross to make it 3-0 to the delight of Bafana’s technical team.