Motlalepula Maduna looks at the recent football friendly played between South Africa and Morocco.
Bafana Bafana continued their unbeaten record against Morocco by playing to a 1-1 draw on Friday night at the newly built and packed Agadir Stadium in Morocco. Both nations have failed to qualify for the last round of the 2014 World Cup qualifications and Bafana seemingly used this game to build for the future. The game got to a frantic start and Bafana captain and goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune was called to duty as early as the 5th minute to produce a fine save from an equally well taken header just outside the edge of the area by Youssef El Arabi. In the game where Gordon Ingesund introduced several new and young blood in the team, the team showed determination despite the hostile crowd being against them. It was an ideal return for midfielder Daylen Classen in the national team set up after being absent for years as he set up striker Tokelo Rantie in the 8th minute to fire the visitors into an early lead.
Morocco attempts on goal were well dealt by Khune on one hand, and on the other, Bafana continued their impressive display after the goal and nearly doubled their lead when Wits captain, who was debuting for his country, was put through on goal and forced a saved from the Moroccan goalkeeper in the near post. Morocco showed more hunger to equalize in the second half especially after the introduction of their skilful and well-travelled Abel Taarabt who caused all sorts of troubles for Bafana left back Tsepo Masilela, who was later substituted by another debutant in the name of Kgosi Nthle. Morocco attacks on Bafana goals would finally pay off 5 minutes into the second half and it came courtesy of a well taken set-piece which was finished off by El Adoua. The game seemed to be losing its rhythm later on in the second half as both coaches made several changes to their squad, Bafana notably not being as sharp and threatening as they were in first 45minutes.
South Africa however managed to hold on against Morocco and continued with impressive record having won two games and drawn three against their North African counterparts. All in all, the friendly definitely served its purpose as players such as Ayanda Patosi, Kgosi Nthle and Sibusiso Vilakazi were all handed their first caps while Siyanda Xulu and Daylen Classen not only got a rare call up but also played the entire 90 minutes. Worth noting is that Bafana oldest player on the night was 28 years old, signalling the plan Ingesund has been preaching with regards to building a young formidable team for the 2015 Nations Cup to be held in Morroco and FIFA World Cup in Russia 3 years later.