Hosts South Africa record first Africa Cup of Nations win
A goal in each half from Siyabonga Sangweni and Lehlohonolo Majoro saw South Africa claim their first win in the 2013 African Cup of Nations as they beat Angola 2-0 in a Group A match at the Moses Mabhida stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
The first 45 minutes was a half dominated by the home nation as they played some free-flowing football, especially in the middle of the park where the Dean Furman and May Mahlangu made all the difference.
Both players came into the Bafana starting XI after missing the opening match and they made their impact felt as both players looked hungry to get their foot on the ball and when they did they passed it about accurately as they set-up goal scoring chances.
Nonetheless, despite South Africa seeing the majority of the possession, it was Angola who had the first real effort on goal in the third minute.
Mateus was allowed too much space on the ball as he drove towards the Bafana goal before unleashing a thunderous 30-yard shot which was well tipped around the post by Itumeleng Khune, diving full stretch to his left to make the fingertip save.
After that, however, it was all South Africa as they continued to be enterprising in the midfield, passing the ball about beautifully, getting themselves into good positions, but as we have become accustom their finishing was poor.
In the ninth minute Bafana created their first real chance when Bongani Khumalo was on the end of a left-sided free-kick from Thuso Phala, but the captain failed to direct his 12-yard header on target.
Nonetheless, Bafana continued to persist and they finally made the pressure pay on the half hour mark when Siyabonga Sangweni gave them the lead and thus allowed the entire home nation to breathe a sigh of relief.
It was a superb left-footed volley from Sangweni who latched onto a Bernard Parker cross from the right flank. Angola failed to clear their lines and the central defender showed all the class of a striker with a clinical finish from six-yards out at an acute angle, 1-0.
Bafana almost doubled their lead a minute before the break after a superb dribbling run by Parker which saw him beat three defender before trying his luck from 22-yards out which was well saved by the Angolan keeper, diving low to his right, as the half ended 1-0 in favour of South Africa.
The start of the second 45 saw Angola throwing players forward in search of that equaliser and they came bitterly close in the 52nd minute.
Mateus drove down the right flank and supplied an inch perfect low cross to find Guilherme Afonso unmarked 12-yards out from goal, but he saw his effort brilliantly stopped by Khune who produced a reaction save diving low to his left.
Two minutes later, though, and Furman came within centimetres of scoring Bafana’s second when he let fly from 24-yards out, but his shot was also superbly save by Lama, diving low to his right to make the fingertip save.
Angola, nonetheless, despite that scare continued to press forward and left themselves vulnerable to the counter-attack, and they were duly punished in the 62nd minute by substitute Lehlohonolo Majoro.
A quick-counter attack saw Majoro using his pace to beat the last defender on the by-line before passing the ball through the legs of Lama from a tight angle at six-yards out, 2-0.
After going a second goal down, Angola threw even more men forward, but despite the pressure on the Bafana defence, they held firm as Gordon Igesund’s men picked up their first win in the African Cup of Nations since 2004.