Four star Bafana Bafana expose the naivety of Brave Warriors

Four star Bafana Bafana expose the naivety of Brave Warriors
Photo by Icon Sport

Bafana Bafana locked horns with the Brave Warriors in game two of AFCON 2023, with the South African side seeking their first win.

Despite their poor start to the tournament, South Africa went into the game knowing they had never lost any competitive game to Namibia.

Bafana Bafana has squared off with the Brave Warriors twice at AFCON (1998 & 2019) and won on both occasions (4-1 & 1-0), but their last two encounters (friendlies) ended all square.

South Africa secured their first AFCON 2023 win with a commanding 4-0 win over Namibia.

Bafana Bafana finally off the mark at AFCON 2023

Themba Zwane scores a brace in the first half for Bafana Bafana
Photo by Icon Sport

Bafana Bafana started the game cautiously as they probed at a Namibia defence that has shown resilience in recent outings.

The Brave Warriors were still soaking in their victory in their opening game over Tunisia and believed they could get a positive result against Bafana Bafana.

Namibia got the first chance of the game in the eighth minute, but Shalulile was flagged offside and lost the opportunity.

A few minutes later Bafana Bafana received a lifeline to go into the lead. Like they did against Mali, South Africa got a penalty against Namibia when a defender handled the ball in the box.

Percy Tau missed against Mali, but not this time. He blasted the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua.

The goal changed the game plan of the Namibians, who had looked to keep it tidy at the back and catch Bafana Bafana on the counter.

Namibia came close to an equalizer in the 21st minute. Shalulile combined well with Deon Otto inside the box to create a chance for Absalom Iimbondi, but his shot sailed over the bar.

Namibia was back a minute later. A beautiful cross by Riaan Hanamub into the box, but Otto could not get to the ball.

Namibia was punished for their profligacy a minute later as Bafana Bafana stormed up the pitch, and a lovely cut back into the box was struck perfectly by Themba Zwane for the second goal.

The South African second goal did not deter the Brave Warriors, as they kept bombing forward for a goal.

For all the bravery that Namibia showed in attack, their defence was letting them down. In the 34th minute, South Africa came close to making it three, but the goalkeeper stood against Bafana Bafana before his defence cleared their lines.

The game was officially over in the 40th minute when Zwane intercepted a pass and sliced through the Namibian defence before he shimmied to his right foot and curled it into the net.

The first half ended 3-0, and for Bafana Bafana, it was a masterclass but a horror show for the Brave Warriors.

Whether Hugo Broos took the advice of Gavin Hunt or not, Bafana Bafana were in good stead.

Thapelo Maseko adds gloss to Bafana Bafana win

Bafana Bafana beat Brave Warriors
Photo by Icon Sport

With three goals in the kitty, Bafana Bafana resorted to game management as the tempo dropped a few notches.

The Brave Warriors seemed short on ideas as they found the South Africa defence tough to penetrate.

The vim Namibia displayed in the first half was non-existent in the second half, with South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams having little to do.

In the 65th minute, Namibia had a solid opportunity to reduce the deficit, but Bethuel Muzeu opted to pass to Shalulile when a shot at goal would have sufficed.

Substitute Thapelo Maseko compounded the woes of the Warriors as he scored the fourth goal in the 76th minute.

South Africa v Namibia Lineups

South Africa:
Ronwen Williams, Khuliso Johnson Mudau, Thapelo Morena, Mothobi Mvala, Aubrey Modiba, Percy Tau, Teboho Mokoena, Sphephelo Sithole, Grant Kekana, Themba Zwane, Evidence Makgopa

Subs: Ricardo Goss, Veli Mothwa, Mihlali Mayambela, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Oswin Appollis, Thabang Monare, Terrence Mashego, Zakhele Lepasa, Siyanda Xulu, Jayden Adams, Nyiko Mobbie, Thapelo Maseko

Lloyd Kazapua, Ryan Nyambe, Kennedy Amutenya, Lubeni Haukongo, Riaan Hanamub, Aprocious Petrus, Absalom Iimbondi, Petrus Shitembi, Prins Tjiueza, Deon Hotto, Peter Shalulile

Subs: Edward Maova, Kamaijandra Ndisiro, Marcel Papama, Ngero Katua, Uetuuru Kambato, Ivan Kamberipa, Joslin Kamatuka, Bethuel Muzeu, Charles Hambira, Denzil Haoseb, Wendell Rudath, Ananias Gebhardt

South Africa v Namibia Stats

South Africa Namibia
Shots on target 8 1
Shots off target 2 4
Blocked Shots 2 0
Possession (%) 49 51
Corner Kicks 6 2
Offsides 2 5
Fouls 10 8
Throw ins 25 21
Yellow cards 1 0
Goalkeeper saves 1 4
Goal kicks 10 8

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.