If Bafana head coach Joel Santana did not know it, he now knows that he has little depth in his squad after a Bafana B team were beaten 1-0 by Guinea in an uninspiring friendly international played at Atteridgeville’s Super Stadium on Tuesday night.
The game started on a sad note when a minutes silence was held before the kick-off for former Bafana and Moroka Swallows left back Jacob Lekgetho who passed away on Tuesday after an illness.
Lekgetho who also played in Russia won 26 caps for Bafana. Santana did keep his promise of giving players who did not start or play in last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Nigeria in Port Elizabeth that ended Bafana’s hopes of playing in the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola.
He fielded a completely new side from the team that started against the Super Eagles.
The players looked like they had met just before kick-off and showed little co-ordination. Bafana fans showed their displeasure at the national team’s failure to qualify for the 2010 African Nations Cup in Angola with a massive stay away. About 2000 supporters turned up for the match and the silence from the stands was deafening.
There was little passion, pace or enthusiasm from either side in a dull first 45 minutes.
Russian based central defender Matthew Booth, making his comeback to Bafana for the first time in three years, looked solid and took no prisoners at the back.
But his teammates lacked discipline and gave away too many free kicks with reckless challenges inside their own half. Man of the Match Booth did have the ball in the back of the Guinea net in the 12th minute but he was ruled offside. Then a long range shot from Yady Camara flew in under the post beating keeper Moeneeb Josephs in the 18th minute.
A minute later Lance Davids had a great chance to equalise when Surprise Moriri set him up but the Djurgardens midfielder shot over the crossbar.
Moriri wasted Bafana’s best chance on the half hour when he shot wide with the goal at his mercy. Guinea almost made it 2-0 three minutes from the break but lucky for the home side Abubacar Camara’s shot skimmed the crossbar.
Santana rung the chances at halftime bringing on Teko Modise, Siboniso Gaxa and debutant Daine Klate. The move was good with Klate just failing to nudge home a clever cross from Gaxa in the 52nd minute.
Bafana’s performance was summed up when Moriri played a ball back to nobody in the 63rd minute and conceded an unnecessary corner.
Guinea keeper Youssouf Toure parried a Klate free kick in the 67th minute but captain on the night Sibusiso Zuma.
Three minutes later Modise headed a Zuma cross straight at Toure when he should have done better. The Guinea keeper managed to deny live wire Klate an equaliser in the 77th minute. Klate the SuperSport United winger impressed and who knows what he could have done had Santana started with him. Klate brought a new dimension to the game.
He added pace, urgency and skill which was lacking in the first half.
Then another sub Petrus Mahlatsi forced Toure into a save three minutes from time. Then to compound Bafana’s agony Klate had a goal ruled offside in injury time.