Our players away on international duty didn’t have the best of Tuesdays as Kamohelo Mokotjo and South Africa were held to a 0-0 draw in Seychelles while Chris Mepham, Ezri Konsa, and Henrik Dalsgaard all didn’t feature.
Following their 6-0 victory in the reverse fixture on Saturday, South Africa travelled North-East confident of making it back-to-back wins in African Cup of Nation qualifying Group E but were thwarted by a dogged home side at the Stade Linité. Kamohelo again started, earning his 13th cap, as Bafana Bafana took a while to adjust to a difficult pitch in Victoria.
Percy Tau and Dino Ndlovu had the best of the first-half chances, but it was after the break that South Africa should really have sewn up the game. Tau had a goal correctly disallowed for offside before Lebogang Mothiba slammed a shot against the bar from close range. Substitute Aubrey Modiba then missed a sitter from inside the six-yard box.
All those missed chances looked like coming back to haunt the visitors as Colin Esther brought a fine save out of Itumeleng Khune before a moment of brilliance from Perry Monnaie almost won it for The Pirates; his exquisite lob landing just off target. The final chance of the game fell to former Oldham Athletic midfielder Dean Furman but he couldn’t beat Jerome Dingwall as Stuart Baxter’s side surrendered top spot to Nigeria.
With the top two teams in each group going through to next summer’s tournament in Cameroon, South Africa remain in pole position despite dropping points, leading third-placed Libya by four points. Matching The Mediterranean Knights’ result against Seychelles, when they host Nigeria next month, would guarantee qualification, if not, it will all come down to a last game shootout between the two next March.
Elsewhere, Denmark coach Age Hareide used last night’s friendly against Austria in Herring to experiment following The Danes 0-0 Nations League draw with Republic of Ireland on Friday. Henrik watched on from the bench as Lukas Lerager opening the scoring on the half-hour before a late Martin Braithwaite goal wrapped up a 2-0 victory for the home side at the MCH Arena. Denmark finish their Nations League campaign next month with a trip to Cardiff to take on Ryan Giggs' Wales before hosting Ireland in Aarhus.
Wales themselves moved top of Group B4 last night with a 1-0 win over Ireland in Dublin. The only goal of the game came via a superb Harry Wilson free-kick on the hour mark. Chris Mepham was not involved after he withdrew from the squad earlier this week due to injury.
At Under-21 level, Ezri Konsa was an unused substitute as England signed off their successful Under-21 European Championship qualifying campaign with a 2-0 win over Scotland. Ezri scored his first goal for the Young Lions during Friday’s 7-0 demolition of Andorra, which secured passage through to next summer’s tournament in Italy, but was not involved last night at Tynecastle as second-half goals from Reiss Nelson and Kieran Dowell ensured Aidy Boothroyd’s side ended qualifying unbeaten.
Watch our internationals live at Griffin Park this Saturday when we face Bristol City in Thomas Frank's first game in charge. With our away end sold out, tickets for this game are only available to supporters with a ticket purchasing history, so don’t forget to login to your ticketing account to secure your place for this match.
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