Bafana Strike It Lucky

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Bafana Bafana finally managed to beat the Brave Warriors in Namibia after they won 1-0 at the Sam Nujoma Stadium last night in an international friendly match. It was the third time lucky for the southern neighbors when a fatal error almost by the entire Namibian defence, including the goalkeeper Athiel Mbaha, allowed Katlego Mashego to sneak in a goal, which handed Bafana Bafana their long awaited victory. Namibia got the first chance of the game through Rudolf Bester after South African goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez missed a back pass. The Kaizer Chief’s goalkeeper missed the ball and it dropped close to Bester but the Eleven Arrows striker failed to make proper contact with the ball. While Pitso Mosimane’s side was still struggling to find its rhythm, Namibia’s left back Franklin April burst from the wing with a fifty meter run and cut inside but his final pass was poor and former South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena did not struggle to make the clearance. However, South Africa’s first clear attempt at goal came in the middle of the half from a cross swinging in from the left. The Namibian defense, which was being marshalled by Moroka Swallows defender George Hummel, failed to deal with the cross but fortunately for the Namibians the South African strikers Katlego Mashego and Glen Salmon failed to connect with the cross properly and the ball just shaved over the crossbar. The hosts responded to the scare strongly through Heini Isaacs who cut in from the left wing and pulled the trigger just outside the eighteen-yard area. The highflying shot beat the fully stretched Fernandez but not the upright. The effort injected some life into the Namibian team and Bester broke again from the left wing into the penalty area and cut a dangerous ball to Isaacs but the Namibia Football Association (NFA) player of the season instead of shooting decided to pass the ball to Hamburg player Collin Benjamin and the move went dead as it was one pass too many. The halftime score was goalless. In the second half the hosts started stronger again and won a number of corners after putting the visitors under pressure. However, it was the visitors who took the lead unexpectedly after Namibian goalie Atheil Mbaha and four of his defenders had a communication breakdown. Mbaha while expecting his defenders to clear up and with the four defenders waiting on Mbaha to collect the ball, saw Mashego collect the ball and shoot into the empty net. The goal was the only one of the game and despite Namibia pressing for an equalizer it was not to be and the South African held firm for their first victory against Namibia in Namibia.