South Africa.................(2) 3
13 Nov 2015 - Bafana Bafana took a huge step in qualifying for the Group Stages of the 2018 World Cup when they convincingly beat Angola at home in the first leg played in Benguela on Friday afternoon.
Goals by Tokelo Rantie, Thamsanqa Gabuza and a penalty by Andile Jali gave coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba’s boys a healthy first leg cushion despite falling behind to a second minute Gerson goal that stunned the visitors.
The match began at a frantic pace with Angola taking the lead in the second minute when Gerson slammed the ball past Jackson Mabogkwane to send early alarm bells from a swift counter-attack.
But Bafana Bafana responded immediately in convincing fashion and great character from this setback.
Thulani Serero orchestrated the visitors’ immediate response when he made a great run from the midfield but when he was about to pull the trigger, the Ajax Amsterdam linkman was harshly brought down as the hosts got away with murder.
But undeterred Bafana Bafana threw everything into the attack and it came as no surprise when Tokelo Rantie scored after a good work by Thabo Matlaba in the 14th minute. It was a brilliant finish though from the Bournemouth striker who has seen little action at his club.
The goal seemed to galvanise Shakes Mashaba’s boys as they started to impose themselves, playing some enterprising football and it was going to be a matter of time before taking total control of the game.
Thamsanqa Gabuza then made it 2-1 on the 20th minute with another exquisite finish as the visitors started to run rings around the home team.
Rantie was then unfortunate not to have earned himself a penalty on the 37th minute when he was hacked from behind inside the box but the referee waved play on as South Africa chased for the third killer goal.
As expected, Angola put intense pressure in the second half in a bid to get the equaliser but Erick Mathoho and company stood firm.
Though they didn’t create clear-cut opportunities, Angola fashioned some gilt-edged chances but it was the visitors that created some really good chances.
Andile Jali then made it 3-1 in the 80th min with a cheeky penalty after Rantie was brought down in the box. However, the Belgium-based midfielder was sent off for indiscretion soon after his spot kick as South Africa finished the match with 10 players. It did not matter much though.