Result: Bafana 2-0 Angola
Date: 23 January 2013
Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium
Bafana Bafana rose to the occasion as they produced a much-improved performance to beat Angola 2-0 in their crucial 2013 Africa Cup of Nations clash on Wednesday.
The Angolan's had the first chance of the game three minutes in when Mateus had a crack at goal, forcing Itumeleng Khune into the dive but his shot was wide.
Katlego Mphela responded with a header over the crossbar before Manucho achieved the same feat at the other end moments later.
The South Africans continued to press with Mphela lashing a hopeful shot wide in the seventh minute before Tokelo Rantie was furious after being fouled for a third time. The resulting free-kick was whipped in by Thuso Phala but nobody could get a vital touch.
The hosts were on top, with Dean Furman putting in some telling passes, while Mphela and Rantie combined in the 17th minute with the latter flashing a shot across the face of goal.
Rantie should have done better in the 23rd minute when he was found by Mphela but he again produced a wild finish.
Bafana's opening goal would arrive on the half-hour mark as Siyabonga Sangweni latched onto the ball at the far post and powered his finish past the goalkeeper.
Another chance arrived four minutes later when a corner was met by captain Bongani Khumalo but his header went just wide.
Khune remained alert at the other end as he came out of his area to head a long ball clear which Manucho was chasing in the 39th minute before Mateus skied a great chance from the edge of the area with two minutes left in the half.
Bernard Parker had a good chance to double the lead in the 44th minute but his effort did not have enough power to beat the goalkeeper as Bafana went into the break with a slight advantage.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane was thrown on for the second period in place of May Mahlangu, but the Angolans started brightly with Mateus picking out Manucho but he hit his shot straight at Khune.
South Africa were soon pushing again though as Furman fired just wide before Rantie was taken off for Lehlohonolo Majoro. The crowd didn't like it, but the decision paid off just minutes later when the Kaizer Chiefs man chased a ball forward, showed good skill to confuse both the defender and goalkeeper before lashing a low finish in from a tight angle.
The visitors started to show more urgency in attack but couldn't find their finishing touch as Manucho again fired straight at the goalkeeper.
End-toe-end action ensued in the final few minutes as Angola looked for a way back and South Africa went for a third on the counter.
Majoro saw his lob after bursting forward land on the roof of the goal and Angola were unable to find any late response as Bafana bagged a crucial win.
Bafana: Itumeleng Khune, Anele Ngcongca, Bongani Khumalo, Siyabonga Sangweni, Tsepo Masilela, May Mahlangu, Dean Furman, Thuso Phala, Bernard Parker, Katlego Mphela, Tokelo Rantie.
Angola: Mamona Lama, Marco Airosa, Dani Massunguna, Miguel, Bartolomeu Bastos, Jose Pirolito, Da Costa, Mateus, de Carvalho Dede, Afonso Guilherme, Alberto Manucho, Hermenegildo Da Costa.