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South Africa v Mali Match Report, 14/10/19

FT
2 - 1
RSA
MLI
D. Furman (23 pen)
T. Zwane (45+1)
S. Koita (74)
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
South Africa 2-1 Mali: Bafana Bafana crowned Nelson Mandela Challenge champions
1:59 am AEDT 14/10/19
Dean Furman Bafana Bafana v Libya, September 2018
Two first half goals from Ntseki's charges were enough to seal an easy victory over the Eagles at Nelson Mandela Stadium

South Africa recorded a comfortable 2-1 win over Mali in the 25th edition of the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Sunday afternoon. 

Dean Furman opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Themba Zwane came off the bench to register his name on the scoresheet with a sublime finish. 

Sekou Koita scored late in the second half in what proved to be a mere consolation as Bafana Bafana lifted the trophy. 

All eyes were on Molefi Ntseki as this was his first game in charge of Bafana Bafana, and football fans watched with keen interest as to how his team would line-up. 

Ntseki named a very strong Bafana Bafana side with Bradley Grobler leading the line in a 4-5-1 formation.

Erick Mathoho also made his return to the Bafana setup following his great start to the season with Kaizer Chiefs

Mali started on the front foot as they took the game to Bafana in the opening minutes of the game, but they failed to take their chances. 

Ntseki barked instructions from the sidelines, probably telling his players to close down Mali who were knocking on the door looking for an opening goal. 

Bafana then started knocking the ball around nicely, especially in the middle of the park with Keagan Dolly and Thulani Serero combining well in the final third.

The two players combined in the 23rd minute for Bafana's penalty after Serero went down inside the box. 

Furman stepped up and fired Bafana in front with a cool finish from the penalty spot, much to the delight of a decent crowd at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

This was Furman's fourth international goal with Bafana and a great start to Ntseki's tenure.   

Bafana lost Dolly through a foot injury in the closing stages of the first half and the left-footer was replaced by Zwane, who had started from the bench. 

Zwane made an immediate impact as he doubled Bafana's lead just before the half-time break with a great finish. 

It was a great first half by Bafana, but Ntseki needed the break to sort out his defence which at times allowed Mali to come close to scoring. 

Mathoho and Thulani Hlatshwayo marshalled the defence but they were caught ball watching on a number of occasions which frustrated Ntseki in the technical team area. 

Bafana Bafana came back stronger and organized at the start of the second half, but they took their foot off the pedal midway through the game.

Mali created a few chances in an effort to pull one back but they often struggled to get behind the Bafana defence until the 74th-minute when they had already made numerous changes to give as many players a chance as possible.

The visitors did manage to pull one back through Koita, who fired home from inside the box with 16 minutes left on the clock to give Bafana a scare. 

Mathoho then produced a fine tackle to deny Mali which would have been their second of the afternoon, but even then Bafana still attacked with much pace as Kermit Erasmus and Thapelo Morena kept the opposition defence on their toes. 

In the end, Bafana ran out winners for their 13th Nelson Mandela Challenge title in 25 years.