Katlego Mphela scored on 76 minutes as 2010 FIFA World Cup™ hosts South Africa edged fellow qualifiers Denmark 1-0 in a warm-up, stretching their unbeaten run to 12 games. The striker nicknamed 'Killer' pounced on a defence-splitting pass to fire the ball under the body of Stefan Andersen and settle a lively, if overly cautious contest.
Scoring chances were scarce in a goalless, cagey first half, with neither team able to stamp their authority. South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira stuck with the 4-2-3-1 formation that has helped his team remain unbeaten since he took over the reigns last November. Injuries deprived Denmark of several players, including goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner.
Lone striker Mphela netted after 10 minutes but was clearly offside and when Denmark threatened well into the half, fit-again goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune came to the rescue. A far-post cross fell invitingly for Teko Modise, but his header was well off target, while Liverpool defender Daniel Agger came close at the other end in a similar situation.
The only corner of the first half came six minutes before half-time but was poorly executed by Siphiwe Tshabalala. The second half progressed in an equally cagey fashion, with little goalmouth action, with Khune not tested until midway through the half when he was forced to react quickly to hold onto a deflected Martin Jorgensen shot.
Shortly after, Denmark's goalkeeper Stefan Andersen showed himself to be equally sharp at the other end, changing direction to grasp a Tshabalala drive that lacked venom but took a serious deflection. It was going to take something special to break the deadlock, with a host of substitutions failing to make an impact, and it came via the right boot of defensive midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane, whose pass from the centre of the field set up Mphela for what proved to be the winning strike.
Denmark had a chance to level deep in stoppage time as substitute Mikkel Beckmann ghosted unmarked into the penalty area, but his shot was pushed away by Khune.