Goals from Siyabonga Sangweni and Lehlohonolo Majoro took Africa Cup of Nations hosts South Africa to a crucial 2-0 win over Angola at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Wednesday.
Bafana Bafana moved, temporarily at least, to the top of Group A on four points and will be confident of claiming a place in the quarterfinals when they take on Morocco on Sunday. As for the Sable Antelopes, it was a brave performance but they were ultimately outclassed by their hungrier opponents.
Bafana coach Gordon Igesund made five changes to the line-up after the goalless draw with Cape Verde, the most notable of which saw Katlego Mphela and Tokelo Rantie start together up front.
The home were much improved from their weekend performance and threatened in an attacking sense from the early minutes, though it was actually Angola who had the first genuine effort at goal – a low shot from Mateus that flashed across the six-yard box and had goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune worried.
From then on, however, it was almost all South Africa. Dean Furman and May Mahlangu provided energy and penetration in midfield, while both Mphela and Rantie were seemingly given license to shoot on sight.
Ironically it was defender Siyabonga Sangweni who broke the deadlock on the half hour mark. Bernard Parker’s cross into the box was headed up in the air by Angola’s Lunguinha – the dropping ball fell kindly for Sangweni at the back post, who drove a low volley beyond goalkeeper Lama to make it 1-0.