South Africa were held to a 0-0 draw by Namibia in an international friendly played at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday afternoon.
Bafana Bafana struggled to find an attacking rhythm through the course of the match, with the Brave Warriors looking the better team through the first half while the hosts were unable to capitalise on their dominance in the second.
South Africa coach Hugo Broos opted for nine changes compared to their last full international against Morocco in June, with Siyanda Xulu handed the captain’s armband for the first time in his Bafana Bafana career.
Namibia started brightly and had a great chance to claim the lead as early as the third minute when Bethuel Muzeu skipped through the defence, only to drag his shot from the right of the penalty area wide of the target.
South Africa threatened next, with Lyle Foster doing great work down the left before cutting back from the left by-line to pick out Bathusi Aubaas, who stung the palms of Namibia goalkeeper Lloyd Kazapua in the sixth minute.
The Brave Warriors went up a couple of gears in an attacking sense around the midway point of the first half, forcing a couple of notable saves out of goalkeeper Veli Mothwa.
Absalom Limbondi and Deon Hotto were particularly influential for the visitors.
Late in the first half Bafana almost claimed the lead via Monnapule Saleng, who saw a deflected shot head toward the bottom corner of the net, only for Kazapua to make an excellent save with his feet.
The Namibia goalkeeper was in action again in injury time before the interval, punching away Saleng’s shot direct from a free kick to leave the game locked at 0-0 at halftime.
South Africa made a triple change at the start of the second half, introducing Grant Kekana, Mlungisi Mbunjana and Lebo Mothiba.
They threatened early on via Kobamelo Kodisang, who flashed a shot across the face of goal from the left of the penalty area.
The next genuine chance only arrived in the 75th minute, with Aubrey Modiba whipping in a cross from the left which found the head of Mothiba, but the striker couldn’t direct an effort on target.
Another Bafana chance arrived in the 89th minute when Modiba’s free kick found the head of Kekana, but his looping effort was tipped over the bar by Kazapua to ensure the game finished 0-0.
South Africa will return to friendly action on Tuesday, 12 September when they face DR Congo at the Orlando Stadium.
South Africa 0
SA: Mothwa, Monyane, Xulu (Kekana 46’), Sibisi, Maela (Modiba 63’), Sithole (Mbunjana 46’), Aubaas (Mmodi 63’), Margeman, Kodisang (Mobbie 75’), Saleng, Foster (Mothiba 46’)
NAMIBIA: Kazapua, Nyambe (Kamberipa 90+3’), Amutenya, Gebhardt, Hanamub, Petrus, Limbondi, Shitembi (Kamatuka 64’), Tijueza (Amutenya 72’), Hotto (Papama 90+3’), Muzeu (Alfeus 72’)