SA spot-kicks sink Colombia
South Africa continued their excellent run of form going into the World Cup with a win over Colombia.
By Mike Barton
Last Updated: 27/05/10 10:37pm
South Africa continued their excellent run of form going into the World Cup finals with a win over Colombia in Johannesburg.
The tournament hosts have been preparing well and secured a 2-1 victory that will boost their confidence further.
All three goals came from the spot with Teko Modise and Katledo Mphela scoring for the home team either side of Giovanni Moreno's equaliser for the Colombians.
It was another positive outcome for Carlos Alberto Parreira's team, and despite not being at their best, they managed to hold on for a result that extends their unbeaten run under him to 10 since his return as coach last November.
The Brazilian named a near full-strength back-line featuring goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, captain Aaron Mokoena, Tsepo Masilela and Siboniso Gaxa, all near-certainties to start against Mexico in the tournament opener, with Bongani Khumalo alongside the skipper.
There were also places in the XI for midfielders Modise and Siphiwe Tshabalala as well as striker Mphela, who are also likely to feature from the start against Javier Aguirre's team in two weeks time.
However, there was no place for either Steven Pienaar or Benni McCarthy, both sitting among the substitutes and soaking in the noise of the near-80,000 spectators.
The hosts were on top early on, but it was the South Americans who created the first opening 10 minutes in when Jackson Martinez collided with Khune while attempting to get onto the end of a cross, but Adrian Ramos failed to tuck away the easy rebound.
The deadlock was then broken in the 18th minute when Tshabalala's corner came off the hand of Fredy Guarin and a penalty was awarded.
Modise missed at the first attempt, but the referee ruled that goalkeeper David Ospina had moved too early as he saved the effort from the Orlando Pirates midfielder, who scored at the second attempt.
Colombia hit back three minutes later, though, when Ramos was hauled down by Khune in the box and Moreno easily tucked away the penalty.
It was 1-1 at the break and, with the hosts clearly being over-run in midfield, Parreira threw on Everton's Pienaar and Kagisho Dikgacoi of Fulham, while
Moeneeb Josephs was also introduced in goal for Khune, who took a knock to the head in the first half.
All three changes seemed to lift the home side and they retook the lead 12 minutes into the second period thanks to a another penalty.
This time Tshabalala was brought down in the box by John Valencia after an enterprising run down the left by Mphela, who himself took the spot kick to hand Bafana Bafana the advantage.
McCarthy was brought on just after the hour mark, much to the pleasure of the home crowd, but hardly had the ball at his feet as his side opted to sit back, before eventually holding on.
Their build-up to the World Cup continues next Monday with a friendly against
Guatemala ahead of a clash with Denmark on 5th June.