South Africa came from a goal down to defeat Mozambique 3-1 in the opening 2014 African Nations Championship match at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.
And early Mozambican goal threatened to spoil the home nation’s party, but a brace from Bernard Parker, which sandwiched a stunning long range strike from Hlompho Kekana, saw Bafana Bafana to an important victory.
Mozambique took a surprise lead 11 minutes into the match. Diogo let fly from long range, the ball deflected off Thato Mokeke and wrong-footed Itumeleng Khune, who was unable to recover in time to prevent a goal.
The Mambas’ goal seemed to spark the hosts into life and Sibusiso Vilakazi was denied an equalising goal in the 18th minute, as Soarito was able to palm away his header.
On the half hour mark Bafana were awarded a soft penalty after Vilakazi tumbled under a challenge from Almiro Lobo. Bernard Parker converted the spot kick to make it 1-1.
The hosts ended the half the strong team and finally took the lead 13 minutes into the second stanza, with midfielder Hlompho Kekana scoring a spectacular long range screamer to make it 2-1.
South Africa looked more likely to add to their score advantage rather than concede an equaliser in the remainder of the second half, and Mozambique’s Soarito was certainly the busier of the two goalkeepers.
With just under 10 minutes to play, Parker netted his second of the game to make it 3-1, rifling home a left-footed shot after a clever reverse ball from clubmate Siphiwe Tshabalala.
Watch video of the goals in the match below: