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Bafana Play Out Draw In Opener

2013 Africa Cup of Nations

Result: Bafana 0-0 Cape Verde

Date: 19 January 2013

Venue: National Stadium

Bafana Bafana were unable to get things together as they put on a disjointed performance to open their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign with a 0-0 draw against Cape Verde at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Bafana started brightly with Thuso Phala showing some initiative early on but Cape Verde managed to scramble the danger clear before Bernard Parker failed to guide a header on target moments later.

Siphiwe Tshabalala then produced a weak free-kick in the 13th minute before Cape Verde had arguably the best chance of the half when Luis Platini went one-on-one with Itumeleng Khune but scuffed his shot wide.

Bongani Khumalo had to make a last-ditch challenge in the 20th minute to prevent the Blue Sharks from getting an opportunity at goal.

Both sides were struggling to keep possession and carve out good opportunities. Phala should have done better with a chance in the 32nd minute but he did not anticipate that the ball would find him at the far post and it bobbled out from close range.

Ryan Mendes then fired wide at the other end after getting onto the end of a pass into the area while Bafana were struggling to break through at the other end.

Mendes could have grabbed the lead for the visitors just before the break when he was found with a floated ball into the area but after controlling the pass, he lifted his strike over the angle as the game remained locked at 0-0.

The stuttering performance from both sides continued after the break, but coach Gordon Igesund brought Lerato Chabangu as he looked for more in attack while Thulani Serero and Katlego Mphela was thrown in later.

Majoro had a penalty appeal turned down after the game in the 56th minute when he went into the area and seemed to be blocked off in what was one of Bafana's best passing moves.

Khune then saved the hosts from going down with a fantastic fingertip save to push the ball just wide of the target.

The passing from the hosts was atrocious on the day, as many of their passes were not finding feet and their decisions in the final third were poor.

The final minutes of the game saw both sides struggle for chances as the game ended goalless.

Bafana: Itumeleng Khune, Anele Ngcongca, Siyabonga Sangweni, Bongani Khumalo, Thabo Matlaba, Thuso Phala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker, Lehlohonolo Majoro.

Cape Verde: Josimar Vozinha, Fernando Varela, Elvis Babanco, Neves Nando, Luis Platini, Tony Varela, Santos Nivaldo, Marco Soares, Ramos Nhuck, Ryan Mendes, Taveres Carlitos.

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