Bafana Bafana lost 1-0 to Norway in an international friendly match at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday, 8 January 2013.
The match, attended by Minister of Sport and Recreation SA, Honourable Fikile Mbalula and the Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille, started with a moment of silence for South African Olympic cycling hero Burry Stander who passed away last when he was knocked down by a taxi in his KwaZulu Natal Province last week.
A goal by Norway captain Tarik Elyounoussi late in the first half separated the two sides in front of a colourful Cape Town crowd of around 40 000.
The match is part Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund’s preparation for the upcoming Orange Africa Cup of Nations South Africa 2013 which kicks off on 19 January when the hosts take on first time participants Cape Verde at the National Stadium (Soccer City).
The home side controlled most of the match but could not turn possession into goals; missing a number of clear chances that came their way.
Bafana coach Igesund made several changes in the second half, bringing on Tokelo Rantie, Bernard Parker, Thulani Serero, May Mahlangu and Lehlohonolo Majoro for Katlego Mphela, Lerato Chabangu, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Kagisho Dikgacoi and Anele Ngcongca respectively.
“Of course I am disappointed with the loss, but I am happy that we have shown much improvement from our previous matches. What is important is that we are now creating a lot of chances and we are close to getting it right. We were just unlucky tonight because we could have been at least three goals in the lead at the end of the first half,” said Igesund.
“We need to use our ball possession better but that will come, come the AFCON tournament. I am glad the players made mistakes in this match and not in the tournament, so that we are able to rectify where we are going wrong. They will learn from this experience.”
Bafana captain Bongani Khumalo echoed coach Igesund’s assertion that the visitors goal was against the run of play.
“We will have to keep working hard, but there were lots of positives in this game, like the way we moved the ball. We played a good brand of football, but maybe at times we should get more ugly in the box and gamble. But these are the things we will work on.”
Bafana Bafana will face Algeria in the final warm-up match at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday, 12 January.
Kickoff is at 15h30.
This is how they lined up.
Itumeleng Khune, Anele Ngcongca (Lehlohonolo Majoro 87’), Bongani Khumalo (c), Siyabonga Sangweni, Tsepo Masilela, Thuso Phala, Kagisho Dikgacoi (May Mahlangu 69’), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala (Thulani Serero 56’), Lerato Chabangu (Bernard Parker 53’), Katlego Mphela (Tokelo Rantie 46’)
Did not play: Wayne Sandilands, Senzo Meyiwa, Siboniso Gaxa, Thabo Matlaba, Oupa Manyisa, Thabo Nthete
Rune Almenning Jarstein, Espen Ruud, Kim Andre Madsen, Fredrik Semb Berge, Lars Christopher Vilsvik, Ardian Gashi, Tarik Elyounoussi (c), Bjorn Helge Riise, Erik Huseklepp, Ruben Yttergard Jenssen, Alexander Toft Soderlund