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South Africa 3-1 Malawi

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Majoro & Tshabalala: On target

Majoro & Tshabalala: On target

Lehlohonolo Majoro scored his first goal for Bafana Bafana as they saw off a spirited Malawi 3-1 at the Moses Mabida Stadium on Saturday.

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The Kaizer Chiefs striker broke the deadlock after just six minutes with Siphiwe Tshabalala adding a second shortly after to put the hosts in the driving seat.

However, the Flames were allowed back into the game after the break with Joseph Kamwendo pulling one back from the penalty spot five minutes into the second half.

But South Africa were awarded a penalty of their own with 15 minutes remaining and May Mahlangu stepped up to restore his side's two-goal lead.

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has now guided his team to three wins and three losses in his first six games in charge, and will be happy with his preparations for next month's Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.

Majoro was just inches away from Siboniso Gaxa's cross on the right as the hosts attacked from the onset.

But the Amakhosi ace made no mistake on six minutes as he pounced from close range after Malawi goalkeeper Simplex Nthala could only parry a low shot from Lerato Chabangu into his path.

South Africa were two goals up on 10 minutes as Siphiwe Tshabalala got in on the act, the winger also scoring from close range following a cross from the right.

Majoro threatened again on 17 minutes after being picked out by Tshabalala from the left, and although he failed to hit the target his effort would not have counted as he was blown for offside.

The Flames largely failed to trouble Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune in goal as they resorted to shooting from distance, with David Banda seeing one such effort sailing high and wide on 38 minutes.

Oupa Manyisa then let rip from long range on 40 minutes, but his well-struck shot flew just wide of Nthala's right post as Bafana went into the break still 2-0 up.

Malawi made a game of it in the second half and responded within minutes of the restart as Siyabonga Sangweni conceded a penalty for a foul on Robert Ng'ambi.

Kamwendo duly converted his spot-kick on 48 minutes as the Flames slowly gained the ascendancy.

Kamwendo then attempted a speculative shot from distance shortly after, but his effort from the left was never going to trouble Khune, who also saw a long-range strike from Ng'ambi sail over the crossbar.

The match became scrappy as the second half wore on with very few clear-cut chances arriving for either team.

The hosts were given some breathing space on 75 minutes when they were awarded a penalty after Tokelo Rantie was brought down from behind by James Sangala.

Mahlangu was tasked with taking the spot-kick and he made no mistake as Bafana went 3-1 up.

Malawi, to their credit, stuck to their guns and looked for a way through, but the South African defence held firm for the final 14 minutes to record a deserved win.

Posted: 22/12/12 18:03

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