South Africa and Cape Verde started the 2013 African Cup of Nations with a dull 0-0 draw in Johannesburg. Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
Cape Verde started well, soaking the home team's pressure as South Africa failed to create a single clear-cut chance in the first half. As the game wore on, the doubting home spectators grew restless and the pressure turned against Bafana. The home side couldn't settle down, and most critics were still unhappy with coach Gordon Igesund's ploy of using long balls.
Winger Thuso Phala again showed why Igesund chose him ahead of dropped star players. He made an immediate impression tricking Nivaldo, before being hauled down and winning Bafana a free kick in a dangerous position in the first minute. It produced the best moment for the home side as Siphiwe Tshabalala's freekick met Bongani Khumalo who headed wide of the post.
Bafana made most of the moves in the first half, but since they got rid of the ball quicker, Cape Verde held its own in possession.
In the 16th minute Cape Verde Islands gave South Africa an early warning, as Babanco split the SA defense with a brilliant through pass for Platini to be through on goal. The Santa Clara striker wasted the clear opportunity, dragging his shot wide.
Cape Verde's captain Fernando Neves and his central defensive partner Fernando Varela kept Bafana quiet, as it was an even first half with both teams in the game. Cape Verde then won a free kick, but Heldon's curling effort flew harmlessly over Khune's crossbar.
After half an hour Tshabalala's cross found Phala at the back post but the Platinum Stars midfielder couldn't control it. Then Crystal Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi took a speculative shot from distance which flew high over the crossbar.
Lerato Chabango replaced Dikgacoi at the beginning of the second half, a clear sign that Igesund was ready to take a risk and use his midfield to attack.
In the 56th minute Bafana Bafana cut through the Islanders defense from the right wing, as Majoro fed Parker. The Chiefs striker was blocked by Varela, but the ball fell for Tshabalala whose strike was parried brilliantly by Vozinha.
In the 71st minute the visitors nearly silenced South Africa as a clever cross from Babanco reached Mendes whose superb diving header was just wide of a scrambling Khune.
Captain Khumalo could have won it for South Africa in injury time with a header from a corner, but it wasn't to be and Cape Verde deserved a draw. Even though Bafana once again failed to score, at least they are still in the competition, probably needing four points from their next two games against Angola and Morocco to progress to the second round.
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation
- Cape Verde
- South Africa