Three goals in the second stanza from defender and captain Thulani Hlatshwayo (49th minute), debutant striker Thabo Mnyamane (51st minute) as well as second half substitute Mandla Masango (86th minute) were enough to give Bafana Bafana a convincing 3-1 win over a determined Swaziland side.
The international friendly match was played at the Somhlolo Stadium on Wednesday, 25 March.
Felix Badenhorst grabbed the consolation goal for the hosts.
South Africa head coach Ephraim Mashaba started the match with four players who were making their debut in Bafana Bafana colours – Mnyamane, defenders Thapelo Morena and Daniel Cardoso and also midfielder Cole Alexander.
He added two more new caps when he introduced Siphelele Ntshangase and Lebogang Phiri for Lehlohonolo Majoro and Kamohelo Mokotjo respectively. Mashaba is happy with the victory but has some concerns.
“We knew this was going to happen, and that is why I indicated earlier on that it is not going to be easy. If you play countries like these, you just become a motivating factor to them. They really came at us and the goal they scored – my defence did not do well, we should have defended better,” said the Bafana Bafana mentor.
“It’s a good result to take to Mpumalanga (to face Nigeria) and hopefully it rubs off positively. These are two different games, so you cannot take what happened in Swaziland to Mpumalanga because it is going to be a tough game as well. We will do our best. You will remember that they still have a score to settle with us, they will come spitting fire but we are ready for them.”
Mashaba was also not impressed with the first half performance of his players.
“At the break we told them to shake themselves up because they were shadows of themselves in the first half. Yes we had possession and made many passes but we were not playing forward, just going sideways and backwards. With a strong opposition we will find ourselves in trouble when we do that,” said Mashaba.