Bafana Bafana stumbled to yet another draw against their neighbours the Zebras in Gaborone on Saturday afternoon
Both sides were disappointed by results on the first matchday, with Bafana slumping to a 1-1 draw against Ethiopia in Rustenburg while the Zebras lost 2-0 away in Central African Republic. For that reason, the match in Gabarone was important for both national teams.
Caretaker coach Steve Komphela took charge of South Africa following the sacking of Pitso Mosimane last week, and the visitors seemed determine to push for the win, with Siphiwe Tshabalala having an excellent chance to put his side ahead in the 11th minute, but his side was cleared by the Botswana defence.
Bafana Bafana would soon find the opener, however, and on 13 minutes Morgan Gould rose up to a header from Steven Pienaar's corner to make it 1-0 for South Africa. On 26 minutes Bafana came close to scoring their second, as Kalego Mphela found space in the box after a scramble, but his shot cannoned off the post to safety.
The Zebras kept their heads, however, and despite having to deal with a few more South African chances on goal, they found the equaliser in the 38th minute through Ofentse Nato, completing a good team move when the Bafana defence was struggling to clear the ball.
The first half ended 1-1, and in the second period both teams looked shaky in attack, making mistakes and finding it difficult to create clear cut chances. Much of the play took place in the middle of the pitch, with the midfielders fighting for possession so that they could release their respective strikers.
As the half progressed South Africa began to look more desperate, and the pace and frequency of attacks increased, in similar fashion to the match against Ethiopia.
In the 78th minute the best chance of the second half fell to Teko Modise, as the ball was passed to the Sundowns player in the box and found him unmarked, but his shot was sent high up into the air and over the intended target.
Bafana could not find a goal in the dying minutes, and the Zebras were pleased to get a draw at home, with the game ending 1-1.
The result means that Group A is now led by the Central African Republic on three points, while South Africa have two and Botswana share bottom spot with Ethiopia on a single point. Ethiopia and Central African Republic have a game in hand which will be played on Sunday.