Player ratings: Bafana Bafana vs Libya 2019 AFCON qualifier 24 March 2019


Showed grit from the first whistle and stepped up in the uncomfortable situation of not having long-standing number-one Itumeleng Khune’s presence. Made his first of many great saves in 23rd minute off a point-blank shot from Benali. Had a nervy moment in the 36th minute when fluffing an aerial ball into his area but did well to recover and block a potential threat on his goal. Further kept Bafana in the game with numerous saves when things grew tense, before unnecessarily conceding a penalty after letting his foot out on Saltou. Picked himself up and steered the team over the line as he carried out his duties with aplomb.

Not very convincing in the opening 35 minutes as Libya sent wave after wave of attack and left the entire defence in absolute disarray. However, grew stronger as the match progressed and managed to better organise his backline.

At the heart of the three-man defence, he struggled to marshal his partners on either side and was often caught flat footed as he dropped closer to Keet rather than closing down the space for Libya’s attackers in the first half. Also improved as the match progressed. 

Had some shaky moments but showed good tactical discipline as he was deployed as a left-centre-back, tasked with having to tuck in rather than enjoying the space out wide, and managed to restrain himself from venturing forward as he usually does. 

Was relatively pedestrian in the wing-back role and struggled to get forward as Libya pinned him back in his own third for much of the match. Contributed more defensively in the second half and blocked the hosts’ wing-play.

Very shaky in the first half, giving away possession easily and failing to provide sufficient cover for Hlanti. Picked up a yellow card early on and steered clear of danger but also faded out of the game.

Looked nervy in the beginning. Covered decent ground but often dropped to flat onto his defence, allowing Libya attackers to line themselves up on the edge of the area in acres of space before closing down the shots. Also struggled in the build-up after regaining possession, with too many of his passes going astray.

Deployed in a box-to-box role but was pinned back for the opening 35 minutes, while Libya pinned Bafana back in their own defensive third. Lacking numbers to support him in the build-up, he struggled to find his rhythm. But he did ever so well to get into the right areas in attack and pick out Percy Tau for both the first and second goals. His two assists were pivotal.

Had a shot blocked in the 39th minute after some good combination play from Lebo Mothiba, Mokotjo and Percy Tau, who laid it on a platter for the midfielder. Tasked with having to lead the counter-attack, often found himself isolated and frustrated by not being able to link-up with his teammates. Was replaced by Kekana after 78 minutes.

Individual brilliance of the highest calibre. Struck a beauty in the 50th minute to hand Bafana the lead, showing excellent composure to steady himself on the edge of the area before blasting into the roof of the net with his preferred left foot. Once again stepped up to restore the lead in the 68th minute with a powerful right-footed effort from an acute angle that left Libya’s goalkeeper rooted to his spot. Missed out on his hattrick as he fired wide in the 89th minute. Replaced by Lars Veldwijk in 94th minute. 

Game-plan didn’t quite suit him and was largely pedestrian for most of the match. Eventually got his first attempt at goal in the 43rd minute, as he tried to improvise with an acrobatic effort but was unable to direct it on target. Had a good opportunity from a counter-attack in the 59th minute but was let down by a heavy first touch.  

Replaced Zwane in the 78th minute. Attempted one of his trademark long-range efforts that almost caught Libya’s goalkeeper off-guard, but also brought more structure to the midfield.

Replaced Tau in the 94th minute. Did not play long enough to get a rating.