Bafana Bafana star Percy Tau was pleased with how the team rallied back in the second half against Sao Tome e Principe in their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2021 in Durban on Friday.
In what was a largely frustrating night out at Moses Mabhida Stadium the hosts, who could not find the breakthrough in the first half against a side many would have expected to skate comfortably past.
How Bafana broke Sao Tome’s defences
The breakthrough came through Tau, who won a penalty and converted from the spot in the 55th minute.
The second goal was provided late in the game by Rangers midfielder Bongani Zungu, who headed in from a Keagan Dolly corner on the stroke of full time.
Speaking after the game, the Anderlecht midfielder noted how difficult it was to break the islanders’ defence.
“We tried many movements in the first-half but we were a bit tense,” Tau said after being named Man of the Match. “In the second-half we were able to get in the right spaces and turn them and get behind them and it worked out pretty well.”
“We knew it would be difficult, we needed the three points, and in the second half it opened up. “We knew if we could score one – it would change their approach, and we scored the second and we feel positive we scored from a set-piece.”
The victory moved South Africa to within three points of Group C leaders Ghana, who scored a third consecutive victory in the qualifiers as they overcame Sudan.
Another win against Sao Tome in Port Elizabeth will almost certainly secure a spot in the continental showpiece event in Cameroon next year for the South Africans.
The return leg between Sao Tome e Principe and Bafana will take place at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Monday.