South Africa were held to a 0-0 draw by Eswatini in a friendly on Friday night. Bafana are preparing for the upcoming Africa Nations Cup (AFCON) and play Ivory Coast in a second friendly match on Tuesday.
But they will need an improved performance if they are to secure a result against the tournament hosts after being nullified by their neighbours at the FNB Stadium. Hugo Broos’ weakened team, due to injury, were largely dominant on the ball but unable to break down a resilient Eswatini defence. Themba Zwane was first in with a chance for the home team but his shot lacked any real venom and failed to test goalkeeper Khanyakwezwe Shabalala.
Mihlali Mayambela tried his luck with a long-range attempt on 19 minutes that Shabalala claimed comfortably. Lyle Foster then fired over the target on 25 minutes before a similar result with a first-time shot moments later.
Khanyisa Mayo was on target on 28 minutes but he didn’t trouble Shabalala in the Eswatini goal. Nyiko Mobbie was next to test the keeper, with the half winding down, but it wasn’t to be as the two teams went into the break on level terms.
Bafana were again in charge of the ball after the break but Njabulo Blom curled a 48th-minute chance just wide. Philani Mkhontfo then had an attempt deflected wide as Eswatini went on a rare foray forward.
Bafana ultimately remained on top in this tie but without finding a breakthrough, as substitute Mduduzi Mdantsane failed to test Shabalala with his soft effort, while Aubrey Modiba fired a ball across the goal that was missed by two players. Both sides played until the final whistle looking for a breakthrough that never came, leaving the away side the happier of the two teams at the final whistle.