Seychelles dent Bafana’s Afcon qualification hopes in goalless draw

The match wasn’t as plain sailing as the clash at the FNB Stadium, as they came up against a more confident Seychelles side, buoyed by home ground advantage on a tricky artificial turf.

FILE: Bafana Bafana were held to a goalless draw away to the Seychelles in their Afcon qualifier. Picture: @BafanaBafana/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana were held to a frustrating goalless draw by the Seychelles in their return fixture of their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Stade Linite on Tuesday afternoon.

After beating the Seychelles 6-0 at the FNB Stadium three days ago and collecting three points that put them top of Group E, Stuart Baxter knew that a win away from home could put them one step closer to qualification for Africa’s showpiece event in Cameroon next year.

The match wasn’t as plain sailing as the clash at the FNB Stadium, as they came up against a more confident Seychelles side, buoyed by home ground advantage on a tricky artificial turf. Although Bafana again enjoyed the lions’ share of the possession, they couldn’t turn their dominance into goals, as they had 14 shots at goal but none of them on target in the first half.

The clearest of Bafana’s chances came two minutes into the second stanza, as the strike pair of Dino Ndlovu and Lebo Mothiba combined to rattle the Seychelles’ goalkeeper Jerome Dingwall’s crossbar by Mothiba.

The hosts almost caught the visitors napping from a great counter-attack. Gervais Waye-Hive outstripped the Bafana defence, forcing Itumeleng Khune who was playing in his 90th game for Bafana, the second most capped Bafana player of all time, off his line, but the winger’s chip went perilously wide from trickling into the back of the net.

SuperSport United’s Aubrey Modiba also had a glorious chance to score late in the game but his header in the box couldn’t be directed goalward.

The point earned from the game puts Bafana on eight points from four games with two games against Nigeria at home next month, and Libya away in March next year.