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How the SA players performed against Sudan

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Yesterday, available again, he proved his class once more

Bafana Bafana players celebrate Lebogang Phiri's winner during their 2021 Afcon qualifier against Sudan at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Sunday. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

GK: RONWEN WILLIAMS 6.5/10

Williams was on a mini-holiday as he barely had to make any saves. The Sudanese attack was made to look non-existent by the Bafana defensive contingent.

RB: THAPELO MORENA 7/10

Morena consistently proves to be a key figure of the team whenever he dons the Bafana Bafana shirt, and yesterday’s outing was no different. The Mamelodi Sundowns player had some impressive runs down the right flank but, it has to be said, his crosses left a lot to be desired.

CB: ERIC MATHOHO 7/10

The lanky defender has been impressive for his club, Kaizer Chiefs, and Bafana since returning from an injury this season. He showed his prowess in the Nelson Mandela Challenge against Mali, and his absence in the Ghana clash proved to be costly as Bafana’s defence was porous.

Yesterday, available again, he proved his class once more.

CB: THULANI HLATSHWAYO 6.5/10

The skipper’s presence was there for all to see as he kept the Sudanse attack quiet for the duration of the game. Alongside Mathoho, Hlatshwayo read the game well as they protected goalkeeper Williams from any danger.

LB: SIFISO HLANTI 6/10

Following a nasty injury after the Afcon tournament in Egypt, the chances of Hlanti making a quick return for this qualifier were said to be nigh impossible.

But he did the work and rushed himself back, but the rustiness was evident. Today, he just proved to be OK.

RW: LEBOGANG PHIRI 6.5/10

Phiri started the game like a house on fire as he took the game to the opposition, but along the way, in the first half, he took the foot off the pedal.

He would, however, put South Africa in the driver’s seat with a thunderbolt on the stroke of half-time after benefiting from a loose ball just outside the penalty-area.

DM: DEAN FURMAN 5.5/10

The experienced Furman barely put in the shift today, as he unusually lost duels in the engine room, while Mokotjo had to cover up for him on a number of occasions.

That was not all, Furman had a poor passing rate, losing a number of balls that could have, perhaps, helped the team going forward.

CM: KAMOHELO MOKOTJO 7/10

Having missed the clash against Ghana, Mokotjo had to prove that he was the missing link in Bafana’s engine room. The English-based player came to the party yesterday and covered up for Furman and prevented the Sudanese heart of the engine coming into game to connect with their forwards.

CM: THULANI SERERO 6.5/10

Known for his mesmeric touch that eases the pressure on the strikers, that skill was nowhere to be found. The blame isn’t entirely on his shoulders as the Sudanese team sat back and rarely opened a channel to Ali Aboeshren between the sticks.

LW: PERCY TAU 6.5/10

It took a little while before Tau warmed to the game. But when he eventually did he was the focal point of Bafana’s attack as he proved to be a nightmare for Atahir Mohamed on a number of occasions in the first half.

But in the second period, Tau barely came to the party.

S: LEBO MOTHIBA 5.5/10

Known for his ability to hold the ball for his teammates up front and with a killer instinct when presented with a chance in front of goal, it appears as though it would take a little while before Mothiba is the natural Bafana No 9.

There was quite a lot that wasn’t going for the French-based player yesterday, having totally mis-kicked the ball to waste Bafana’s first real chance before not putting enough power behind the ball after being teed up by Tau.

SUBSTITUTES

LEBOGANG MANYAMA 6/10

The Chiefs’ midfielder came on for Phiri in the second half, and he huffed and puffed to inspire his team to the second but those efforts didn’t bear any fruits.

KERMIT ERASMUS 5.5/10

After coming on for Mothiba, Erasmus boxed with the Sudanese’s defence, and nearly scored the second goal but he forced a brilliant save out of Aboeshren.

BRADLEY GROBLER

Not in action long enough to receive a rating.

Mihlali Baleka