Bafana snatch late draw with Angola

South Africa's Elrio van Heerden scores two minutes from time for a 1-1 result.

    South Africa and Angola kept Group D tight with a 1-1 draw after Senegal and Tunisia also drew [Reuters]
    It was deserved goal for South Africa who won far more possession than their regional rivals only to be let down by a slow start and poor finishing.
     
    Manchester United-bound Mateus 'Manucho' Goncalves headed Angola into a 29th-minute lead and cleared the ball off the line in the closing stages when South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena thought he had equalised.
     
    No team arrived in Ghana more desperate to impress than South Africa after descending from champs to chumps in a 12-year freefall that transformed them from feared foes to the laughing stock of the continent.
     
    Bafana Bafana ('The Boys') won the 1996 African title in their first appearance and finished second and third in the next two editions followed by a quarter-finals exit to minnows Mali and two first-round departures.
     
    Carlos Alberto Parreira, South Africa coach, and Luis Oliveira Goncalves, Angola coach, were set a minimum target of reaching the quarter-finals at the 2008 Cup, and with higher seeds Tunisia and Senegal to come, victory in their opening match was considered crucial.
     
    Angola dangerman Flavio Amado from five-time African club champions Al-Ahly was way off target with his first attempt at goal on a hot night at a 20,000 seat stadium built for the Nations Cup.
     
    Two stunning goals
     
    While South Africa were weaving pretty patterns to no real effect, Angola scored for the first time in three Nations Cup matches against them through simple, direct football.
     
    Manucho's diving header combined agility and power, giving South African keeper Moeneeb Josephs no chance.
     
    Sibusiso Zuma, captain of the ill-fated 2006 Nations Cup team, headed wide toward the end of a first half in which South Africa had more possession, forced four corners without reply, but trailed were it mattered most.
     
    Parreira, long criticised by the South Africa media for his one-striker approach, opted for more adventure after half-time by introducing Thembinkosi 'Terror' Fanteni and Lerato Chabangu.
     
    As the second half progressed it mirrored the first with South Africa pushing forward without real menace while Angola looked dangerous every time they counterattacked.
     
    With nine minutes to go Modise broke clear and let loose with a trademark drive that proved too hot for Joao, but his parry was cleared, and when Mokoena thought he had levelled, the referee felt otherwise.
     
    But it was left to late substitute van Heerden to smash a stunning shot in the 88th minute to give South Africa a well deserved point.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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