Cape Town – A picture of players unwinding at one of the Seychelles’ exotic beaches summed up the performance of Bafana Bafana.
Stuart Baxter’s men were held by minnows Seychelles in an Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in a 0-0 draw at the Linite Stadium on Tuesday after beating their amateur opponents 6-0 at home.
Bafana had just a few days ago put in an impressive display at the FNB Stadium to take a firm grip of Group E but then undid all of that by failing to secure a win in Victoria.
Bafana had a staggering 75% of possession at full-time but somehow couldn’t break down a resolute Seychelles defence with the artificial surface making it extremely difficult to move the ball around quickly or start any meaningful attacks.
Here’s how I rated Bafana Bafana in Victoria:
Itumeleng Khune: 6
Had little to do throughout but had a moment of madness rushing off his line which nearly proved costly and could have seen Bafana suffer a shock defeat.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele: 5
Seems to be suffering from a lack of confidence in a national team shirt and didn’t provide enough quality with his crosses down the right flank to break down the opponents.
Sifiso Hlanti: 4.5
The left-back is extremely erratic with many of his crosses being over-hit or simply not finding its target. Hlanti also hangs onto the ball too long with his individualism slowing down attacks.
Buhle Mkhwanazi: 5.5
Picked up a yellow card for a late lunge to stop a Seychelles counter-attack but didn’t have much more to do.
Thulani Hlatshwayo: 6
Similarly the centre-back partnership wasn’t troubled by the blunt Seychelles attack but did have a few nervy moments as the game wore on.
Dean Furman: 5
The poor playing surface at the Linite Stadium exposed players who are not the most gifted technically such as Furman, and combined with the Hlanti-Furman axis slowed many attacks down as Bafana tried to move their opponents out of position.
Lebohang Maboe: 4.5
The midfielder proved largely ineffective as an attacking outlet and lost possession on too many occasions.
Kamohelo Mokotjo: 5.5
Was slightly the better of the three in what was largely a midfield lacking creativity and enough quality in the final third to supply the attackers.
Percy Tau: 6
Tried to inspire the team late on in the game with a bit of individual magic but proved largely ineffective as again the playing surface made it hard to build any combination play to stretch the defence.
Lebo Mothiba: 5
Missed a sitter from practically underneath the crossbar but still somehow managed to hit the crossbar, but the powerful forward was a constant threat for defenders.
Dino Ndlovu: 6.5
Should have grabbed a handful of assists had his striking partners done better to finish the many chances he created and also proved industrious off the ball – but ultimately failed to find a way to break the deadlock.
Aubrey Modiba: 3
Provided nothing after being brought on and missed two absolute sitters late on in the game – one with his weaker foot when through on goal and then a free header that he failed to direct at goal. Modiba started singing from his own hymn-sheet to a different song to his team-mates which further broke down any attacking threat as Bafana went in search of a vital goal. He proceeded to give away possession on numerous occasions that released the pressure off of the Seychelles defence.