m_Bafana frustrate WCup-bound Aus

Thulani Serero and Mark Milligan

Bafana Bafana held Australia to a 1-1 draw in an international friendly at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Monday.

Ayanda Patosi’s first goal in a Bafana shirt was cancelled out by record goal scorer Tim Cahill in what was the Australian’s farewell game before heading to the World Cup.

The Socceroos, who fielded a relatively inexperienced starting XI, forced Bafana Bafana onto the back foot from the onset, with Senzo Meyiwa forced into a string of saves in the opening exchanges.

Bafana Bafana, though, took the lead against the run of play in the 13th minute through Patosi, who bagged his first international goal.

Tokelo Rantie ran onto a ball from Thulani Serero before cutting inside and setting up Patosi, who curled the ball into the back of the net via the inside of the post.

The Socceroos hit back immediately, with Cahill out-jumping Meyiwa to a hopeful ball into the area to net the 32nd international goal of his career.

Australia continued to dominate proceedings in what was their penultimate warm-up match before the showpiece event in Brazil, but to their credit Bafana showed glimpses of regaining the lead, but were guilty of trying to be too cute in and around the penalty area.

Bafana made their intentions clear following the break as Patosi went within inches of restoring the visitors lead with a crisp strike from range.

Australia looked the more likely to score next, but they failed to find a way past a determined Bafana Bafana outfit in front of over 50,000 spectators who gathered to wish the Socceroos well.

Australia were drawn Group B alongside World Cup holders Spain, 2010 runners-up the Netherlands and an impressive-looking Chile outfit.

The Socceroos next face Croatia while Bafana clash with the All Whites of New Zealand in four days’ time.