A wasteful Bafana Bafana side were beaten 3-1 by Africa’s number one ranked team Algeria in their opening Africa Nations Cup Group C game on Monday.
South Africa were first to score through Thuso Phala in the 51st minute. Then Tokelo Rantie hit the crossbar with his penalty kick and Algeria clawed their way back into the contest.
First they netted through an own goal by Thulani Hlatshwayo in the 67th minute before Faouzi Ghoulam netted in the 72nd and Islam Slimani in the 83rd to seal the win.
Algeria dominated the opening stages and enjoyed the ball a lot more. It took until the 17th minute for South Africa to get forward when Tokelo Rantie’s pace caused a few problems.
Soon after and Bafana keeper Darren Keet was in action once more, making a save from Yacine Brahimi’s long range effort. And on 22 minutes Rantie broke free again and chased a ball over the top, but could not connect his show properly on his left foot.
A minute later Dean Furman rattled the crossbar with a fantastic long range attempt on goal, which clipped the fingertips of goalkeeper Rais Mbohli.
On the half hour mark Bafana were dealt a blow when Rivaldo Coetzee had to be replaced by Siyabonga Nhlapo after a recurrence of his knee injury forced the teenager off the field.
Bafana should have taken the lead in the 42nd minute when Sibusiso Vilakazi got into the danger zone, but took too long to pull the trigger and Mbohli saved. Two minutes later and Andile Jali’s close range shot was saved when he should have done better.
In the 51st minute South Africa went ahead when Thuso Phala netted from close range after great work by Vilakazi and Rantie put him into a great position.
Two minutes later and Vilakazi was brought down inside the area following a pass by Phala. But Rantie struck he crossbar with his penalty kick.
In the 56th minute Keet made a great double save; first he blocked a shot with his legs and then the follow header on goal he turned onto the crossbar and into safety.
Algeria then got back into the match and started to dominate. Algeria were back in the game in the 67th minute when Brahimi’s ball into the danger area was flicked into his own goal by Hlatshwayo.
Then, in the 72nd minute, Faouzi Ghoulam got around Manyisa on the left flank and burst into the 18 area and drove a powerful shot past Keet.
Islam Slimani stuck the final nail into the coffin in the 83rd minute when he slotted the ball past Keet who should have done a lot better.