Bafana gift Tunisia win

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Three times they gifted Tunisia goals, but enjoyed the lion share of possession and coach Carlos Alberto Parreira will be pleased with his side going forward, if not their generous defending at the back.

It means South Africa have to beat Senegal on January 31 if they are to advance to the quarterfinals and hope the Angola-Tunisia game that will be played at the same time, does not end in a draw.

1 mins: South Africa kick off in Tamale.

6 mins: First corner of the game for Tunisia put behind again by Bafana and the second is almost latched onto by the giant Jaidi. A third is headed wide by the Tunisians. Bafana have already shown their hand and are knocking long balls up for the pace of Zuma and Fanteni, hopeful they can get behind the less mobile Tunisian defence.

7 mins: Zuma has the first shot on goal, but it’s saved by Kasraoui and the rebound just eludes Chabangu. Chikhaoui’s good run earns Tunisia a fourth corner.

8 mins: GOAL! Dos Santos beats the offside trap from a well-worked corner and his header from five yards gives Josephs no chance.

13 mins: The game is a bot scrappy with too many free-kicks. A real stop-start affair so far.

18 mins: Good work between Zuma and Pienaar almost creates a chance for Bafana. First corner for South Africa is wasted as it fails to beat the first man. Chabangu then has a shot that goes high and wide. Bafana are at least starting to press a little bit now.

23 mins: Flag goes up for offside against Fanteni after brilliant build-up play by Modise and Pienaar. Fanteni spooned the ball over with a gapping goal anyway. I wonder if he heard the whistle? Bafana get a free-kick in a dangerous position on the right, taken by Modise and Chikhaoui just gets in ahead of Morris to clear.

28 mins: An excellent long ball from Josephs puts Zuma clear, but Jaidi just beats him to the ball to put the ball behind for a corner. A couple of years ago Zuma would have left him for dead … Fullbacks Moon and Masilela have not been as effective for Bafana yet tonight, they need to get them more into the game. Jaidi blocks a Pienaar shot. He is everywhere at the moment.

31 mins: Tunisia are trying to get the ball behind South Africa on the counter-attack, and on two occasions might have succeeded had the passes not been over-hit. Luckily for South Africa, Josephs is one of the best ‘sweeper-keepers’ in the business.

32 mins: GOAL! Dos Santos hits the post with a shot from the edge of the area, but Ben Saada reacts quickest to slot the rebound home.

34 mins: GOAL! Oh dear. Morris’ back-pass is woefully short of Josephs, allowing Dos Santos to round the keeper and score Tunisia’s third. What a horrible mistake that has probably killed the game for Bafana.

39 mins: Modise crosses from a good position, but it is too close to the keeper. Morris hits the crossbar with a header that comes through a crowd of players to him. That was his chance to make amends. Moon clears the danger with some last-gasp defending as Bafana are being stretched at the back.

HALFTIME: Zuma finds space and shoots, but as has happened all evening, a Tunisian defender is there to block the shot. Tunisia are playing ‘keep-ball’ now and Bafana are struggling to get possession. South Africa looked OK going forward, but their defence left a lot to be desired in that first half. The scoreline is perhaps a little harsh on them, but they have been given a lesson in passing and finishing by the North Africans.

46 mins: Elrio van Heerden replaces Lerato Chabangu for the second half as Tunisia get us back underway.

51 mins: Fanteni is flagged for offside when through on goal. Looked a tight call. Josephs is forced to raise out and clear ahead of the dangerous Chikhaoui. Mokoena tries a hit-and-hope that goes high over the crossbar. That’s not what is needed. In a reapeat of the earlier incident, Chikhaoui this time gets there ahead of Josephs, but his effort is over the bar.

56 mins: Ben Fredj gets a YELLOW CARD for time-wasting at a free-kick. Modise has a wild effort that is nowhere near the goal. Kasraoui claims the ball just ahead of Zuma. More neat play on the edge of the area from Bafana involving Van Heerden and Zuma, but Zuma’s shot is weak and easily saved.

61 mins: Fanteni should have done better at the near post as he latches onto Zuma’s knock-down and swings a boot at the ball, which goes wide. He is then replaced by Katlego Mphela.

66 mins: Brett Evans replaces Masilela, who was nowhere near as effective as against Angola in the last game. Van Heerden has been excellent since he came on, his distribution of the ball has been a joy to watch. Chikhaoui gets to the byline and lays the ball into the path of Dos Santos, who has to score … but somehow scuffs his shot. Chances don’t come much easier than that. That should have been the Dos Santos hat-trick. And he is replaved a minute later by Mahdi Ben Dhifallah.

71 mins: Bafana are knocking the ball around well, but the final pass or cross has been poor. There is certainly plenty of invention and willing runners in the side, but no service in the final third.

76 mins: Pienaar goes close after more excellent work by Van Heerden lays the ball into his path on the edge of the area.

81 mins: Modise goes close with a 35-yard shot, but it goes over the bar. Kasraoui had it covered anyway. Nine of Bafana’s 11 shits to date have come from outside the area. Most have been speculative as well.

86 mins: Van Heerden should have scored, but scooped over from eight yards. Zuma can’t connect with a deep corner.

87 mins: GOAL! A consolation for Bafana as Pienaar’s trickery sets up Mphela to score from point-blank range.

FULLTIME: Aside from three pieces of naïve defending, Bafana played reasonably well in this match and can possibily count themseoves unlucky not to get more out of the game, having hit the woodwork as well. But if they are to advance in this competition, they need to keep it tighter at the back.

Tunisia 3 (Dos Santos 8, 34 Ben Saada 32)South Africa 1 (Mphela 87)

Yellow card: Sabeur Ben Fredj

Tunisia: 1 Hamdi Kasraoui, 3 Karim Hagui, 13 Sabeur Ben Fredj, 18 Yassin Mikari, 8 Mehdi Nafti, 15 Radhi Jaidi, 12 Joahar Mnari (Chaker Zouaghi 76), 21 Mejdi Traoui, 9 Yassine Chikhaoui (Issam Jemaa 81), 11 Francileudo dos Santos (Mahdi Ben Dhifallah 66), 7 Chouki Ben Saada

South Africa: 16 Moeneeb Josephs, 3 Tshepo Masilela (Brett Evans 62), 4 Aaron Mokoena, 5 Nasief Morris, 13 Benson Mhlongo, 19 Bryce Moon, 12 Teko Modise, 14 Lerato Chabangu (Elrio van Heerden 46), 21 Thembinkosi Fanteni (Katlego Mphela 60), 10 Steven Pienaar, 15 Sibusiso Zuma