Bafana shock the Aussies

Ayanda Patosi. Photo: Supersport
Ayanda Patosi. Photo: Supersport
Bafana Bafana, without the services of many of their big-name players, held Australia to a 1-1 draw in a friendly international at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney yesterday.

An enthusiastic crowd of over 50 000 witnessed the match, which served as a Fifa World Cup send-off for the Socceroos.

The contest got off to a lively start, with both teams showing a willingness to move the ball around the park quickly, with the Australians enjoying the better of the territorial battle.

However, South Africa stunned Australia with a superb goal on the counter-attack.

Attacking down the left flank, Thulani Serero picked out Tokelo Rantie, who timed his run perfectly. Rantie cut inside a defender, then cut in once more, but his shot was blocked.

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He then dropped the ball back to Ayanda Patosi and the Belgian-based player steered the ball low and accurately into goalkeeper Matthew Ryan’s left-hand corner to put Bafana Bafana ahead.

Almost immediately, though, Australia drew level. Meyiwa failed to deal with a speculative cross from the left and Australian captain Tim Cahill just beat him to the ball to head home and make it 1-1 mere moments after they had fallen behind.

The Socceroos owned the first 25 minutes of the showdown, but once Bafana Bafana had settled down the contest was reasonably even and they came away with a hard-earned and deserved draw.

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