Bafana Bafana concluded their 2015 African Cup of Nations preparations with a 3-0 rout of Mali at the Stade Monedan in Libreville, Gabon on Wednesday.
Goals from Thulani Hlatshwayo, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Dean Furman secured a convincing win for Shakes Mashaba’s men five days before they kick-off their Afcon title charge against Algeria in Mongomo.
The game got off to a slow pace with Mali looking the more threatening of the two sides in the opening exchanges.
Mali went close in the 22nd minute through Mohamed Yattarra, but his effort was always flying high and never troubled Jackson Mabokgwane in goal.
Ahmed Doumbia then went within inches for the Eagles in close succession just after the half-hour mark, but it was South Africa who would open the scoring through Hlatshwayo.
Having worked on set-pieces leading up to the game, Mashaba was visible delighted as the Bidvest Wits captain directed a powerful header past Soumeila Diakite from a Mandla Masango free-kick.
Mali started the second-half as they did the first, but failed to capatilize as Bongani Ndulula went close for Bafana Bafana in the 63rd minute.
The AmaZulu forward had Diakite beaten, but not Mohamed Konate who produced an excellent goal-line clearance to deny the Bafana attacker his fourth goal for his country.
Mohamed Traore was then guilty of missing a sitter soon after before Sibusiso Vilakazi doubled South Africa’s lead in the 82nd minute.
The Bafana midfielder played a quick one-two with Andlie Jali before rounding the Eagles gloves man and poking into an open net to make it two goals from two games for the reigning PSL player of the year in Libreville.
Furman wrapped things up three minutes later as South Africa secured their first victory over the West Africans.
The Doncaster Rovers midfielder beating Diakite at his second attempt to secure an impressive win for South Africa, who have yet to be toppled under Mashaba.
Mali kick-off their 2015 Afcon campaign against Cameroon on 20 January.
Mali (0) 0
South Africa (1) 3 (Hlatshwayo 37′ Vilakazi 82′ Furman 85′)
Mali: S.Diakite; D.Diakite, Konate, Tamboura, Wague, Doumbia, Keita, Sylla, Sako, M.Yatabare, S. Yatabare
South Africa: Mabokgwane; Nhlapo, Hlatshwayo, Ngcongca, Matlaba, Furman, Jali, Masango, Phala, Vilakazi, Ndulula