Wednesday, August 20, 2008


For a change SA vs Austrailia was a result to savour. 2-2.Tico Modise scored a cracker. But with less than two years to go for the World Cup, Does this team have what it takes to go beyond the group stages. It was the Ozzies minus Guus................

A piece of magic from playmaker Teko Modise in the 58th minute earned Bafana Bafana a hard-fought 2-2 draw in a friendly international played at the Loftus Road Stadium, London, on Tuesday night.
Modise's goal was the highlight the match, but new Bafana coach Joel Santana left with more questions than answers.
The Socceroos had the better of the first 45 minutes. They were well organised and quicker to the ball.
Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune looked shaky from the start and never settled down in the first 45 minutes, coming off his line too early and must take some of the blame for both goals scored in a lively opening half.
It was no surprise that the out of touch Santana played his tried and tested despite saying he would bring in new blood.
Skipper and central defender Aaron Mokoena played at centre half despite the fact this match is being used to prepare for next month's crucial African Nations Cup qualifier against Nigeria in Port Elizabeth.
Mokoena is suspended for that match and should have been rested.
This was Santana¢s chance to have a look at the likes of Bevan Fransman alongside Nasief Morris as the centre back pairing.
Once again Santana showed his lack of imagination by using his stock two defensive midfielders in Macbeth Sibaya and Kagisho Dikgacoi when a more adventurous system will be needed against Nigeria.
Santana promised to also use this game to have a look at new blood and he bottled it when the score was 2-2.
He did bring on Moroka Swallows' Lefa Tsutsulupa for his first cap when he replaced McCarthy in the 73rd minute. It was just reward for the 28-year-old Birds midfielder's efforts in helping a SA Development side retain the Cosafa Cup against Mozambique on home soil recently.
If Santana plays this formation against Nigeria, Bafana will struggle to get the three points they desperately need to keep their slender hopes of qualifying for the 2010 Afcon tournament in Angola alive.
Australia did most of the attacking early in the half. Bradley Carnell of German side Karlsruhe made a welcome return at left back, adding experience and well timed tackles.
He also managed to clear Mark Bresciano's shot out of danger in the 18th minute.
But three minutes later a clever back heel by Benni McCarthy set up Siyabonga Nkosi and the Arminia Bielefeld midfielder showed a lot of composure by slotting home the opening goal past Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
However, the lead lasted only until the 25th minute when Derby County's Mile Sterjovski beat the on rushing Khune and cleverly chipped the ball over the advancing Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper and into the net.
Khune did well to shot a well hit shot from Scott McDonald in the 31st minute but he completely missed a 33rd-minute cross from Lucas Neil that was luckily also missed by the Socceroos' Josh Kennedy, a teammate of Carnell at Karlsruhe.
But Kennedy managed to outjump Khune and headed home Bresciano's free kick in the 38th minute to put the Socceroos 2-1 ahead.
Bafana tried hard to get back into the game and Schwarzer did well to block a dangerous cross form Bryce Moon in the 51st minute.
Sibaya was fractionally wide with a long-range shot after 55 minutes as Bafana tried to get back into the game.
Then came a piece of Modise brilliance in the 58th minute. McCarthy started the move with another clever back heel to Moon, who set up the Orlando Pirates playmaker who let rip with an unstoppable shot giving Schwarzer, who plays in the English Premiership for Fulham, no chance and levelling the game at 2-2.
Both Carnell and Morris were wide awake and focused and both managed to clear dangerous balls when Khune went walk about inside his area as the tiring Socceroos looked for the winner.
But Bafana held their shape and held on for a deserved draw.
However, they will find the Super Eagles of Nigeria a lot tougher proposition in Port Elizabeth on September 6 when there are points at stake in the penultimate Group Four Afcon qualifier.

A host of International friendlies follow tonight and Azee what you think of Capello making Jhon Terry his Captain. Wise move I think, Terry is one man that wears his heart on a sleeve.
For the Azurri, Lippi takes charge and will want to open with a win. Del Piero amongst those from 2006 that has been called up to the Azurri Squad

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