A brace from Themba Zwane and Percy Tau guided Bafana Bafana to a 4-2 victory over Sao Tome and Principe in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Monday afternoon.
Coach Molefi Ntseki made two changes to his side that beat the same opponents 2-0 on Friday, as Lyle Lakay came in at left back for the injured Innocent Maela and Bongani Zungu earned a starting berth, with captain Thulani Hlatshwayo donning his 50th cap for the national team.
The game got off to a slow start with both teams trying to find their rhythm in the opening exchanges.
Bafana had the first real chance of the game in the 10th minute, but Lebogang Manyama fired his close-range effort wide of target.
It was Sao Tome who broke the deadlock two minutes later when captain Joazhifel Soares found the back of the net after he headed the ball past Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams.
Manyama had the chance to redeem himself just before the half-hour mark when he lined up for a free kick just outside the box, but saw his attempt sail over the Sao Tome goal.
Bafana eventually found the equaliser six minutes before the break when Zwane calmly slotted the ball into the far corner to make the score 1-1 at half time.
South Africa showed their intent early in the second half and nearly took the lead in the 48th minute, but Manyama saw his strike crash against the upright.
Sao Tome were kept on their toes by Bafana as Tau saw his goal-bound shot cleared off the line after receiving a pass from Manyama.
Bafana’s persistence paid off in the 70th minute as Tau handed his side the lead after beating his markers and finishing superbly to make it 2-1.
Sao Tome wasted no time in levelling matters five minutes later after Harramiz Soares found space to fire his effort into the back of the net after latching on to an inviting cross played into his path.
Zwane then completed his brace and restored Bafana’s lead in the 87th minute before Tau bagged his brace a minute later to make it 4-2 in favour of South Africa.
South Africa managed to hold on to their lead over Sao Tome until the finish whistle to walk away with all three points at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
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