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HomeNewsBrave Bafana do enough to hold Ivory Coast to a draw in...

Brave Bafana do enough to hold Ivory Coast to a draw in Abidjan

Bafana Bafana produced yet another top notch performance when they held Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) hosts Ivory Coast to a 1-1 draw during their friendly match at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, in Abidjan on Tuesday night.

Bafana head coach Hugo Broos named six changes from the uninspiring side that faced Eswatini at the weekend, which saw captain Ronwen Williams return to goals.

Bafana landed the first blow when Mamelodi Sundowns duo Tebogo Mokoena and Themba Zwane combined well in the eighth minute. Zwane fed off from a Mokoena well-worked cut back and made no mistake in finding the back of the net and silenced the rowdy Abidjan crowd.

The battle between Wilfried Zaha and Khuliso Mudau was interesting to watch, as the two energetic stars entertained the boisterous crowd with their athleticism.

Ivory Coast kept on pilling up the pressure onto the Bafana defense and striker Sebastien Haller almost pounced on an unforced defensive error by Mothobi Mvala, who was casual at the back. He was fortunate as Haller’s dinked effort over Williams struck the post and the home side went into the break trailing.

Moments into the second half, Williams produced a world-class save, when Jonathan Bamba fired a shot at close range but the Sundowns shot-stopper was equal to the task and saved the ball for a corner.

Bafana could have doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Mudau got a golden opportunity to lay the ball to striker Lebo Mothiba who was free inside the box but opted for a shot which went wide off the post.

Mothiba did, however, get his first chance of the game but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Yahya Fofana, after being set-up by Mokoena with a lovely long through pass.

Broos’ men gradually grew into the game, as they had a fair share of ball possession – frustrating the home side with their good link up play in and around the final third.

The resolute South African defense finally cracked in the 65th minute, thanks to a Haller equalizer, when he found himself unmarked inside the box and scored with a bullet header – leaving Williams with no chance.

Williams was called to action once again and produced yet another top drawer save from substitute Hamed Traorè.

The home side kept on banging on the Bafana door in search of the winning goal, but it was not meant to be as both sides could only settle for a draw in what was an entertaining game of football.