South Africa regained some pride with a 4-1 drubbing of Equatorial Guinea Saturday in a 2010 FIFA World Cup™/CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Bafana Bafana (The Boys) played with a passion that was absent when they suffered a 2-0 away loss to bogey team Nigeria last weekend in the first series of second-round matches.
The South Africans are guaranteed a place at the next FIFA World Cup as hosts, but must compete in the preliminaries because they double as qualifiers for the Cup of Nations in Angola earlier the same year.
Kagisho Dikgacoi, restored to midfield after a difficult performance at rightback in Abuja, scored twice and the other Bafana goals came from strikers Surprise Moriri and Thembinkosi 'Terror' Fanteni.
Juvenal Edjogo, one of several Spain-based footballers called up by Equatorial Guinea, converted a late penalty for the visitors, who disappointed on their first visit to South Africa.
A first for Santana
It was the first official success for recently appointed South Africa coach Joel Santana, who took over last month after fellow Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira returned home to be with his ailing wife.
A weak headed clearance of a Teko Modise cross set up Dikgacoi to give South Africa a 10th-minute lead when his half volley flew over Brazil-born goalkeeper Danilo into the roof of the net. When Equatorial Guinea failed to clear one of 12 corners conceded, livewire Modise crossed and Moriri out jumped Danilo to head the ball over him and a defender to leave South Africa two goals ahead at half-time.
Fanteni put the result beyond doubt on 63 minutes with his first international goal, tapping in a cross from fullback Tsepo Masilela at sunny Super Stadium near Pretoria. Edjogo converted the spot kick after goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was judged to have fouled an opponent, but Dikgacoi had the final say with a headed goal when a corner was not cleared.
South Africa play Sierra Leone in Freeetown next Saturday, while Equatorial Guinea host group favourites Nigeria in Malabo the following day.