South Africa held the Indomitable Lions to a 1-all draw on Saturday, 10 January 2015 at the Stade de L’amitie in Libreville, Gabon.
Bafana Bafana got off to a very slow start and conceded an early goal but regrouped, forcing a draw in an exciting contest which ended 1-1.
There was even a chance to even win the match as Bafana Bafana dominated the second half.
“Cameroonians are strong, big and physical and this is what you expect from West Africans. But I also want to believe that the people who came to watch the game got their money’s worth because there was everything one could expect in a match of this magnitude. We are happy we were able to compete in this match and it helped us a great deal with our preparations.”
Captain of the team Dean Furman was full of praise for his teammates.
“We got off to the worst possible start so early in the game and for about 20 minutes we didn’t recover from that, but started picking up in the last 15 minutes of the first half. We had a good talk with the coach at half time and he told us to believe, believe in our ability, believe in our team and that’s what we did,” said Furman.
“(Sibusiso) Vilakazi came on and he was great – that’s the thing about our squad, everyone is fighting for places, everyone wants to start, everyone wants to have the jersey on. The boys who came on made a big difference and we are proud of our second half performance. We can only get better from this.”
Meanwhile Bafana Bafana have received accolades from Cameroon coach Volcker Finke.
“Yes they are in a tough group but they are doing well. While preparing for our match against them, I watched tapes of their last two games – the 2-1 win over Sudan and the 2-all draw against Nigeria – I can tell you now many teams are in for a surprise from South Africa. They look like they can get into the second round, that is very possible,” said Finke.
The squad has been given a rest for Sunday, , 11 January and will return to training on Monday, 12 January to prepare for their final practice match against Mali on Wednesday, 14 January in Libreville, Gabon.
Time and venue are still to be confirmed.
This is how they lined up:
South Africa: Brilliant Khuzwayo (GK) (Jackson Mabokgwane), Anele Ngcongca (Siyabonga Nhlapho), Thabo Matlaba, Rivaldo Coetzee, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Dean Furman, Andile Jali (Thuso Phala), Oupa Manyisa, Themba Zwane (Mandla Masango), Tokelo Rantie (Bongani Zungu), Bernard Parker (Sibusiso Vilakazi)
Coach: Ephraim Mashaba
Subs: Jackson Mabokgwane (GK), Darren Keet (GK), Eric Mathoho, Siyabonga Nhlapho, Mandla Masango, Thuso Phala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Bongani Zungu, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Bongani Ndulula.
Withdrawn from squad due to injury: Patrick Phungwayo (has since returned to SA)
Cameroon: 16-Fabrice Ondoa, 12-Henri Bedimo, 21-Aurelien Chedjou, 9-Franck Bagnack , 5-Jerome Guihoata, 14-Georges Mandjeck, 4-Raoul Loe, 7-Clinton N’die, 15-Francis Etoundi, 11-Edgar Salli, 10-Vincent Aboubacar.
Coach: Volcker Finke
Referee: Akon Nze Rigobert (Gabon)
Ass Ref 1: Vinga Theophile (Gabon)
Ass Ref 2: Moussounda Montel (Gabon)
4th Official: Mihindou Mbina Gauthier (Gabon)