South Africa came from a goal down to hold Mozambique to a 1-1 stalemate at the Estadio Nacional do Zimpeto on Tuesday evening.
Bafana Bafana followed up their 2-1 win over Senegal with a draw in Maputo in an international friendly clash. Owen da Gama made eight changes to the side that edged the Teranga Lions, with Shakes Mashaba absent in the Mozambique capital after he was suspended by the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) for reported comments directed at SAFA president Danny Jordaan.
South Africa conjured a chance as early as the first minute through Thuso Phala, the SuperSport United winger forcing the Mozambican goal-minder into an early save as the visitors went in search of an early goal.
But, despite showing early promise, Bafana Bafana were under the pump for most of the first-half as Mozambique took control of the game, with the Mambas’ speedy winger’s a constant headache for the visitors down the flanks.
Ronwen Williams, back in goal for South Africa the first time since the 5-0 defeat to Brazil two years ago, was himself called into an early save with sixth minutes on the clock.
South Africa based Elias ‘Domingues’ Pelembe teeing up Telinho, but the SuperSport United shot-stopper was up to the task – making a good save to deny the hosts.
At the other end of the park Lars Veldwijk had a chance to stamp his authority on the clash following a pin-point ball into the area by Ramahlwe Mphahlele. Following all the talk leading up to his debut, the Dutch-born forward was presented with the perfect opportunity, but he could only manage to guide his header-attempt harmlessly wide of goal in 14th minute.
Indecision at the back led to the opening goal of the game with a moment of madness by Williams, who again found life difficult against a Portuguese speaking nation.
Williams rushed out of his area, only to miss Pelembe and the ball, the Bidvest Wits wide man seeing his resulting effort onto the post, but Greek-based Clesio Bauque was on hand to steer the ball into the back of the net in the 25th minute.
Mozambique should have made it 2-0 on the half-hour mark, but with Williams stranded Telinho could only succeed in guiding his header wide with the goal at his mercy.
Having struggled in the opening stanza, Owen da Gama made a couple of changes, with the decision working a treat as Bafana Bafana fought their way back into the tie.
The equaliser finally came through Bradley Grobler in the 56th minute. Good work by Mphahlele to set up the Matsatsantsa striker, who made no mistake to level matters.
Pelembe hit the woodwork once more in the 62nd minute following a quick break, the Mambas’ captain unlucky to see his shot canon off the crossbar as both teams continued to press for the winner.
Clayton Daniels came within inches of sealing victory for South Africa in the 89th minute of the game, but he too could only trouble the frame. The SuperSport United defender seeing his volley attempt from a corner-kick onto the post as Bafana Bafana ended the game on top.