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South Africa v Guinea Match Report, 25/03/2022

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South Africa 0-0 Guinea: Wasteful Bafana Bafana fail to put National Elephants to the sword
18:56 IST 25/03/2022
Keagan Dolly, Bafana Bafana, October 2020
The 1996 African champions dominated the game, but they were let down by some poor finishing in a match which was played in Belgium

South Africa missed an opportunity to secure their first-ever win over Guinea as the two teams drew 0-0 in a friendly match which was played at Guldensporen Stadion on Friday night.

Bafana Bafana were hoping to start their preparations for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with a win over the National Elephants and also return to winning ways having lost to Ghana in their final 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier in November last year.

Bandile Shandu and Khuliso Mudau were both handed their international debuts by Hugo Broos. The Belgian tactician was looking to become the first Bafana coach to mastermind a win over Guinea.

On the other hand, Amadou Diawara and Issiaga Sylla, who were both regulars for Guinea at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon, started for the National Elephants.

South Africa got off to a bright start as they pressed Guinea up high and forced their West African opponents to commit mistakes in their own half, but Bafana were wasteful in front of goal.

Lyle Foster and Keagan Dolly were both sent through on goal after the Nations Elephants had given away possession, but both players were superbly denied by goalkeeper Ibrahim Kone.

The West Africans were under siege with Kone being forced to come out and block Evidence Makgopa's shot, before Thabang Monare placed his effort wide of the target with only the keeper to beat.

However, Bafana put their foot off the pedal towards the end of the first half. Veli Mothwa was then called into action and he denied Antoine Conte from close range, and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

South Africa continued to dominate the match after the restart, but their finishing in front of goal remained a big problem with Makgopa and Shandu failing to take their chances in the second half.

Makgopa's effort was blocked on the goal-line by Kone, before Shandu, who has been in good scoring form this season, missed a sitter after getting in behind the National Elephants' defence.

The momentum was with Guinea in the closing proceedings, but Mothwa produced two routine saves from attempts made by Mory Konate and Serhou Guirassy.

Ultimately, the match ended in a 0-0 draw with Guinea maintaining their unbeaten record against South Africa with the two sides having met four times and the National Elephants winning twice, while two games were drawn.

Bafana have now turned their attention to their friendly match against world champions France which will be played in Lille on Tuesday.