Mauritania too strong for Bafana

Mauritania beat South Africa 3-1 during their 2017 Caf Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers match at Olympic Stadium in Nouakchott in Mauritania on Saturday evening.

The hosts opened their scoring through Abeide in the fifth minute, and two second half goals by Beyguili and Bessam were enough to hand Mauritania the victory over Shakes Mashaba’s men.

The win elevates the hosts to position two in Group M’s log standings on three points level with Cameroon who are yet to play their second match while Shakes Mashaba’s men go down to the bottom with one point next to their name.

As early as the third minute, Itumeleng Khune was given something to work on and he made a brilliant save from the left flank. However, three minutes later, the skipper poorly misjudged a long range free kick and the hosts grabbed the lead through a fortunate opportunity afforded to Aly Abeide.

In the 13th minute Bafana pushed forward after brilliant one-two touches between Thulani Serero, Mandla Masango and Andile Jali, however, Masango’s final pass let him down.

The hosts tried to keep the South African defence under pressure using the left flank where debutant Siyabonga Zulu was a bit shaky but Rivaldo Coetzee and Erick Mathoho were solid in clearing their threats.
Both sides headed to the tunnel with the hosts enjoying the lead. In the second stanza, the visitors showed improvement as they continued where they left off searching for an equaliser.

However, in the 50th minute, Zulu saw his debut end in disappointment as he received his marching orders after a professional foul on a Mauritanian forward, Diakite.

After replacing Dean Furman in the 65th minute, Bongani Zungu received a cross from Thamsanqa Gabuza in the box but couldn’t lower his effort as it flew wide.

A few minutes later, defender Anele Ngcongca’s delivery into the box picked out Gabuza who towered above the defender to head home and level matters.

In the 78th minute, Beyguili ensured the three points remained at home as he beat Mathoho in the box to find space for a shot and gave the oncoming Khune no chance.

With four minutes remaining on the clock, the hosts sealed the victory when Bessam dribbled past five defenders before lifting the ball over Khune with a lovely chipped effort.

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