LIBREVILLE – SOUTH’s Bafana Bafan put up an inspired performance in the second half to earn a 1-1 draw against Cameroon in the Gabonese capital of Libreville as they continue preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations 2015.
Cameroon were quick off the blocks in the first half and almost grabbed the opening goal shortly after kick-off but Brilliant Khuzwayo was on the mark to smother the danger. The Indomitable Lions were then awarded a free-kick just on the edge of the box and Vincent Aboubacar fired Cameroon into the lead in the 7th minute with a great strike that gave goalkeeper Khuzhwayo no chance.
There was a bit of scare for Bafana Bafana in the first half as Andile Jali was stretched off with an injury but the tenacious midfielder shrugged the setback off and was soon back on the field. Bafana Bafana came close to grabbing the equaliser seven minutes before the break but Parker’s effort went just wide as the Cameroonians held on for a slender first half lead.
It was a much improved display by Bafana Bafana in the second half as they started probing the Cameroon defence. A brilliant run down the right ended with Matlaba’s fine strike fisted away by the Cameroon keeper on 56 minutes. Then Jali saw his thumping shot cleared for a corner. But with Bafana Bafana buzzing, it was just a question of time before they found that elusive equaliser.
Sibusiso Vilakazi proved to be an inspired substitute as he brought South Africa back on level terms in the 77th minute as he beat the Cameroon defence before planting the ball into the net. It could have been advantage Bafana Bafana moments later following a great run by Phala on the left but his cross into the box could not find a yellow Bafana Bafana shirt.
The match was part of preparations for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
Coach Shakes Mashaba made six changes to the squad that defeated Zambia 1-0 on 4 January at Orlando Stadium.
Bafana Bafana will continue their preparations with another friendly match against Mali on Wednesday. -Â Sapa