Mbabane: Eswatini match officials handled Bafana Bafana’s hard fought 2-0 victory over Sao Tame and Principe with second assistant referee Sifiso Nxumalo getting a few offside calls totally wrong.
Bafana Bafana strengthened their grip on second spot in Group C in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers with the win at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Friday evening.
Thulani Sibandze was the middleman assisted by Zamani Simelane and Nxumalo with Thembinkosi Dlamini the fourth official. On the overall, it was a fair performance from the local referees except for Nxumalo’s few wrong decisions in the second half.
Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, Thapelo Morena, Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo and Lebogang Manyama came in as Bafana’s changes from the loss against Zambia last month in a friendly match.
Bafana were out pumping in the second half after a lucklustre opening stanza as a goalkeeping change for Sao Tome on 51 minutes had Nilson Taty replacing Adam Gamboa, who suffered an injury.
Taty was given a baptism of fire seconds from entering as Percy Tau lined up from the penalty spot to rifle in the opener after going down in the six-yard area.
Themba Zwane should’ve handed Bafana a second with a free-header midway in the second half, but went wide as Mokotjo made way for the returning Bongani Zungu. Bafana missed another guilt-edge chance minutes later when a cross-field ball put Keagan Dolly level with Taty, who pulled off a point-blank save.
Bafana would get their second goal with a minute to go when Zungu leaped high in the area to send Dolly’s cross over Taty, as it finished 2-0 in Durban.