Goals from Thulani Hlatshwayo and namesake Thulani Serero guiding Bafana Bafana to a memorable 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying win over Senegal; bringing an end to their barren run on home soil.
Senegal aimed to stamp their authority on the clash early on with the in-form Sadio Mane seeing his attempt wide of goal in the ninth minute.
The Teranga Lions troubled Bafana Bafana from set-pieces in their clash during the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but the Liverpool striker – not like some of his towering teammates – was never really going to trouble Itumeleng Khune with his head.
The clash adopted a rather cagey mindset for large portions of the opening stanza, but chances were to be forthcoming. First Moussa Konate and then Keagan Dolly seeing their respective attempts from range straight at Khune and Abdoulaye Diallo respectively in quick succession.
Bafana Bafana made use of a slice of good fortune in the 43rd minute. To the surprise of both the hosts and the visitors, the referee pointed to the spot after Eleazar Rodgers’ header attempt hit Kalidou Koulibaly’s knee.
The referee, though, adjudged that the ball had struck the Napoli defender’s bandaged hand. For Hlatshwayo it mattered little with the Bafana Bafana captain taking charge of the situation; duly stepping up to guide the ball into the back of the net despite Diallo guessing the right way.
Senegal – still peeved by the officials decision – were hit with a sucker punch soon after with South Africa doubling their lead through Serero in first-half stoppage time.
Mpho Makola teeing up the frozen-out Ajax Amsterdam midfielder, Serero , who simply passed the ball into the back of the net with half the Senegalese team rooted to the spot.
As would have been expected, Senegal came out firing following the interval with Moussa Konate squandering a gilt-edged chance in the 56th minute. The Sion striker directing his header attempt wide of goal.
Dolly had a chance to extend the hosts advantage in the 63rd minute, but after he failed to convert from close range – Senegal took control with the visitors launching wave after wave of attack.
Stoke City’s Mame Biram Diouf, though, was also unable to hit the target with his header attempt soon after with the South African defence at sixes and sevens.
Senegal continued to attack a shaky Bafana Bafana defensive line and finally found their goal through Cheikh N’Doye with 76 minutes on the clock. A mad scramble which included a good save by Khune to deny Cheikhou Kouyaté, eventually forced over the line by the second-half substitute.
Khune was again called into action with three minutes remaining, as Shakes Mashaba’s men eventually did just about enough to secure all three points; to subsequently move top of Group D.
South Africa next face Cape Verde in Praia on the 28th August 2017