CAF African Nations Championship
Full Time: South Africa 1-1 Mali
Date: 15 January 2014
Venue: Cape Town Stadium
The points were shared between South Africa and Mali in their second Group A CAF African Nations Championship match at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday as the game ended 1-1.
Bernard Parker opened the scoring for Bafana Bafana from the penalty spot in the first half before a second half goal from Ibourahima Sidibe saw the spoils split.
The result means both teams are on four points in Group A and are not assured of qualification for the knockout stages just yet.
Bafana started very positively and were passing the ball about the park beautifully early on as they controlled the possession stakes.
The home side created their first chance on goal in the eighth minute as Siphiwe Tshabalala let fly with a 22-yard shot, but he saw his low grass-cutter well-saved by the keeper.
Three minutes later and Mali had their first real attempt on goal as Lassana Diarra met a corner-kick with a fierce right-footed volley from eight-yards out, but his shot went just wide of the goal.
In the 13th minute Tshabalala was in the action again with another long range attempt, but this time his curling effort from 25-yards out skimmed the wrong side of the crossbar.
Six minutes later Tshabalala played Lindokuhle Mbatha into space on the right flank. The midfielder worked his way into the box, beating one defender before firing a powerful 16-yard shot straight at the goalkeeper.
In the 22nd minute Mbatha showed his skill down the right flank once more, beating three defenders on his way into the box before he was pulled down by Adama Traore which saw the referee point to the spot.
Bernard Parker stepped up and coolly slotted the penalty to register his third goal of the competition and hand Bafana a 1-0 lead over Mali.
Three minutes after going behind Mali nearly drew level as Abdoulaye Sissoko was on the end of a long throw-in into the box, but his 12-yard header was superbly touched over the crossbar by Itumeleng Khune.
In the 37th minute Hlompho Kekana was afforded a great opportunity to doubled his side’s lead when he met a left-wing cross from Tshabalala at the back post, but he scuffed his shot into the ground and saw it cleared off the goalline.
Three minutes before the break some slack defending inside the Bafana box gifted Sissoko with a chance on goal, but he saw his 12-yard effort strike the post and bounce away from danger.
The start of the second 45 saw Mali with the lion’s share of possession and they made their dominance count in the 54th minute as Mali equalised after Ibourahima Sidibe powered the ball home from 16-yards out, 1-1.
Adama Traore came within inches of giving Mali the lead in the 61st minute as a long ball into the Bafana box was poorly cleared by Thabo Nthethe and fell to the attacker, but his volley from just inside the box went wide.
Ten minutes later a great save from Soumaila Diakite kept the scores level as Parker met a cross from the left, but saw his shot well-stopped by the keeper at close range.
Bafana pushed hard for the winner in the final 15 minutes of the game, but could not breach the Mali defence as the points were shared.