June 16, 2013
Bafana Bafana’s 2014 World Cup hopes went up in flames after a second-half own goal from Bernard Parker saw them go down 2-1 in Ethiopia on Sunday.
The South Africans had hit the front in the 34th minute through a superb goal from Bernard Parker but Getaneh Gibeto struck with three minutes left in the half to bring the hosts level. The game was finely balanced and with 20 minutes to go Parker nodded the ball into his own net to give the hosts the win.
The Ethiopians were playing a high pressure, physical game from the start as they looked to prevent South Africa from holding onto possession and spraying the ball around.
The hosts had the first attempt just three minutes in when Salahdin Said met a cross into the area from the free-kick but his header was saved by Itumeleng Khune on the second attempt.
May Mahlangu was then slipped through at the other end four minutes later but his shot under pressure was off target while Thuso Phala thumped a shot past the post soon after.
Said worked Khune with a low shot in the 16th minute while Parker smashed a powerful strike at goal four minutes later but the goalkeeper was equal to it.
Bafana almost took the lead on the half-hour mark when Eric Mathoho nodded a corner back across goal and the goalkeeper flapped at the ball. It then fell for Parker who powered a header at goal but it was cleared off the line.
The Kaizer Chiefs striker would not be denied four minutes later though as he was played in on goal and lashed a low drive in at the far post from a tight angle.
Reneilwe Letsholonyane should have made it 2-0 soon after when he was played in but his strike was straight at the goalkeeper.
That miss would be punished when South Africa failed to clear the ball at the edge of the area and it was slipped to Getaneh Gibeto who smacked his finish past Khune.
Things were tense after the break as both sides tried to take control and chances were hard to come by as rough tackles came in from both sides.
Disaster would strike for the visitors with 20 minutes to go though as Parker got up just inside his own area and nodded a spectacular header into the top corner of his own goal.
The stadium erupted and Ethiopia slowly settled back into their own half to try and see out the win. Katlego Mashego, Tokelo Rantie and Tlou Segolela were sent on by coach Gordon Igesund as he threw everything at the hosts.
South Africa saw a close range shot from Tokelo Rantie miss the target while some promising set-pieces were wasted but Ethiopia were doing well to run down the clock and Said lashed a shot just wide deep into stoppage time after bursting through.
There would be no late saviour for Bafana in the dying seconds though as Ethiopia ended their dreams of heading to Brazil.
Source: Soccer Laduma