Bafana ease pressure on Parreira


Two goals from Teko Modise just before halftime eased the pressure somewhat on coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who will be pleased with the overall performance, and weighing up his options for his African Nations Cup squad after an assured display from the ‘second-stringers’.

Terror Fanteni was put clear on five minutes in a bright start by the home side, but his shot was straight at goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld, who saved with his legs and the chance was gone.

Just a minute later good work from Lance Davids fed Bryce Moon, whose tantalizing cross was met at the near post by Fanteni, but his header was put wide when he should have at least hit the target.

Davids was then put clear, but pushed wide, in a frantic first ten minutes, and his attempted cross was too close to the keeper with teammates racing into the area.

Lerato Chabangu had a great chance at the back post when Bernard Parker’s corner found him unmarked, but his attempted first-time shot skewed tamely wide.

Josh Simpson should have put Canada ahead on 20 minutes when he also found space at the back post – and had time to place his shot – but let fly with a wild swing that put the ball across goal and hopelessly wide.

Nice work between Chabangu and Modise saw the latter shoot low, but straight at Hirschfeld, after which Modise went down in the area under pressure from the Canadian defenders, but the referee waved play-on.

The goal the home side craved came on 39 minutes with a screamer from Modise from 30-yards. Had they had their way, Orlando Pirates would have made sure Modise wasn’t playing in this match, but Bafana fans will be thankful he was after he collected the ball on the edge of the area and side-footed a powerful shot past Hirschfeld to record Bafana’s first friendly goal in six matches.

And one became two as Fanteni won a penalty on the stroke of halftime when Canada captain Paul Stalteri, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in England, brought him down for a blatant award.

Modise put the spot-kick away, which meant he has now scored five of the side’s last six goals, proving his worth with his weaponry from midfield.

Davids stung the palms of Hirschfeld early in the second period from 35-yards, but his skimming shot was pushed out for a corner by the keeper, before Modise found space in the Canada box on the hour-mark, but instead of going for his hat-trick, he unselfishly crossed for Fanteni, who was just beaten to the ball by Stalteri.

Chabangu then had two shots flash wide in a few minutes as Bafana poured forward in search of more goals, while at the other end goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez had to be smart to save from Tomasz Radzinski.

The game was soured on 78 minutes when Stalteri received his second yellow card, presumably for something he said to the Malawian referee and Canada were down to 10 men.

After that the sting had gone from the game and Bafana resorted to entertaining the crowd with tricks and flicks as they ran down the clock in what ultimately was a comfortable win.