Bafana Bafana blow early lead but hold Ivory Coast to draw in Abidjan

Bafana Bafana blow early lead but hold Ivory Coast to draw in Abidjan

Bafana Bafana could not hold onto a lead as they played to a 1-1 draw against Ivory Coast in a friendly international at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

Themba Zwane gave South Africa the lead with a well-worked goal early in the contest but Sebastien Haller's header in the second half made sure the hosts did not lose in front of a raucous crowd of more than 21 000.

The home side, African Cup of Nations hosts in January, were heavily fancied to overcome a stuttering Bafana team that played to a goalless stalemate against Eswatini at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Hugo Broos' charges however silenced the crowd as early as the eighth minute when Zwane collected the ball in the middle of the park and the played in Teboho Mokoena before receiving a return pass from his Mamelodi Sundowns teammate and then applying the finish.

It was wonderful opening goal that capped a brilliant move from the visitors and one could hear a pin drop so was the silence in the stadium.

Bafana almost gifted Ivory Coast an equaliser adfter 30 minutes when a mix-up between goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and defender Mothobi Mvala saw Haller hit the post with a lob.

South Africa sould have doubled their lead early inthe second half when a counter-attack saw Khuliso Mudau clean through on goal but the full-back lacked the composure to finish off a gilt-edge opportunity.

The miss would come back to haunt Bafana as the home team found the equaliser just after the hour mark when substitute Oumar Diakite crossed from the right and found an unmarked Halle in the baby box with the Borussia Dortmund forward making no mistake putting the ball into the back of the net.

The hosts threw everything into attack in the final stages going for the winner but Bafana withstood the pressure and walk away with a creditable draw.

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