Bafana Bafana’s first outing of 2022 saw them held to a 0-0 draw by Guinea in an international friendly at the Guldensporen Stadion in Kortrijk, Belgium on Friday evening.
An experimental line-up from South Africa coach Huge Broos put in an attack-minded display which was matched by the Syli Nationale, but neither side was able to provide the necessary quality in the final third to find the net – despite plenty of chances created at both ends.
The first sniff of goal came from South Africa in the fifth minute, with Keagan Dolly whipping in a fine cross which had the Guinea defence all at sea, but striker Evidence Makgopa couldn’t quite get a touch on the ball in the danger area.
Lyle Foster then found himself in space on 11 minutes after good work from the Bafana midfield to tee him up, but Guinea goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone came quickly off his line to snuff out the danger.
The West Africans offered up their first threat of a goal on 16 minutes via midfielder Amadou Diawara, but he was denied by a brave Terrence Mashego block, and shortly thereafter Ibrahima Conte forced a fine save from goalkeeper Veli Mothwa.
The chances continued to flow at either end, with Dolly and Makgopa both testing out shot-stopper Kone, while Aguibou Camara whipped a shot on target direct from a free kick, but Mothwa made a comfortable save to ensure the half ended 0-0.
The second stanza opened with South Africa swapping out Mothobi Mvala and Nkosinathi Sibisi for Ethan Brooks and Rushine De Reuck, while Guinea’s Serhou Guirassy tested out Mothwa with a shot five minutes after the restart.
On 55 minutes, South Africa spurned a triple chance when Makgopa saw his effort well saved by Kone – both Dolly and Foster then had shots on the rebound but neither was able to find the back of the net.
Shortly thereafter Foster teed up Bandile Shandu, but the Orlando Pirates man missed from close range as the finishing continued to leave much to be desired.
Midway through the second half Bafana went with another pair of changes, as Athenkosi Mcaba and Victor Letsoalo replaced Siyanda Xulu and Foster, before Teboho Mokoena took the place of the hard-working Thabang Monare to add more energy and attacking intent in midfield.
However, neither side was able to find a breakthrough in the final quarter and ultimately Bafana Bafana and the Syli Nationale settled for an honourable, if frustrating, draw.
South Africa will be back in action on Tuesday, 29 March with another friendly, as they face world champions France in Villeneuve-d’Ascq.
South Africa 0
SA: Veli Mothwa, Khuliso Mudau, Siyanda Xulu (Athenkosi Mcaba 68’), Nkosinathi Sibisi (Rushine De Reuck 46’), Terrence Mashego (Lyle Lakay 85’), Mothobi Mvala (Ethan Brooks 46’), Thabang Monare (Teboho Mokoena 71’), Bandile Shandu, Lyle Foster (Victor Letsoalo 68’), Keagan Dolly, Evidence Makgopa
Guinea: Ibrahim Kone, Antoine Conte (Mamadou Kane 46’), Ousmane Kante, Ibrahima Conte, Issiaga Sylla, Amadou Diawara, Ibrahima Cisse (Mory Konate 46’), Aguibou Camara (Sekou Sylla 83’), Thierno Barry (Bafode Dansoko 74’), Moriba Kourouma (Cheick Conde 69’), Serhou Guirassy