Controversial Draw leaves Bafana Bafana with Hill to Climb

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By Webmaster December 16, 2018 09:01

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Controversial Draw leaves Bafana Bafana with Hill to Climb

By Satish Sekar at the FNB Stadium, Soweto © Satish Sekar (November 17th 2018)

Since the banishment of Kenyan referee Aden Marwa from football for corruption, Gambia’s Bakary Gassama is reputed to be one of if not Africa’s best official. He did his reputation no favour today as both Gernot Rohr and Stuart Baxter had gripes.

Baxter thought Gassama got important decisions wrong, but the Nigerian had greater gripes. Stand in skipper was certain that he was tripped early in the second half, but no penalty was given. “I believe I was pushed,” Musa said, “but I accept the referee’s decision.

An eventful first ten minutes saw Musa burst through and draw a save from Itumeleng Khune from the edge of the area, have a goal ruled out wrongly for off-side, and see his team take the lead after 9 minutes with an own goal by Buhle Mkhwanazi. The centre-back turned Samuel Kalu’s cross into his own net.

A man of the match performance by Europe-based Percy Tau drew the hosts level after 26 minutes. Tau unselfishly squared for Lebo Mothiba to score an easy tap in, after beating two defenders to create the opportunity for Mothiba.

Kelechi Iheanacho ought to have restored Nigeria’s lead, but poor control after Musa had put him through cost the visitors the chance. Kenneth Omerua’ header at the far post from Kalu’s inviting free-kick ought to have required Khune to work at least, but the header went wide. It ought not to have mattered as Musa appeared to have beaten the offside trap to score, but it was disallowed – wrongly it turned out.

Ultimately, it didn’t matter as the point was enough for Nigeria’s Super Eagles to book their ticket to the AFCON finals, scheduled for Cameroon next summer. South Africa need to avoid defeat to Libya next March to join them.

Webmaster
By Webmaster December 16, 2018 09:01