Rantie broke the deadlock for Bafana(GOAL)
Cameroon fought back twice to hold South Africa to a 2-2 stalemate in the 2017 Afcon qualifier game played at the Limbe Stadium in Limbe on Saturday.
South Africa were eyeing their first victory in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying campaign when they clashed with Cameroon in Limbe.
The match got off to a lively start and both goalkeepers were tested in the opening stages of the Group M encounter.
Bafana Bafana winger Mandla Masango’s long ball was easily gathered by Indomitable Lions goalkeeper Guy N’dy Assembé just two minutes into the game.
Three minutes later, Christian Bekamenga unleashed a shot from inside the box, but it went straight at Itumeleng Khune in Bafana goal who made an easy save.
However, Tokelo Rantie ran onto a through pass in the 17th minute and he rounded keeper Assembé before finishing with his left foot to make it 1-0 to South Africa.
The Indomitable Lions nearly responded with a goal five minutes later, but Bafana shot-stopper Khune made a fine save to deny the home side the equaliser.
Cameroon caused Bafana problems when they launched attacks and in the 38th minute Khune was once again called into action and he made a great save.
It did not come as a surpirse to some when parity was restored on the stroke of half-time by Indomitable Lions striker Sébastien Siani.
The Senegal-born Cameroonian’s brilliant volley from outside the area beat Khune hands down to ensure that the first-half ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
It took only five minutes for Bafana to regain their lead through Hlompho Kekana‘s wonderful long range shot in the second-half.
The South Africa midfielder saw the keeper off his line and pulled the trigger from within his own half and the ball hit the back of the net to make it 2-1 to Bafana.
Mandla Masango nearly extended South Africa’s lead after bursting down the right in the 59th minute, but his two shots were well-blocked by the Cameroon backline.
The Indomitable Lions were able to level matters seven minutes later and this time it was Nicolas Nkoulou who headed home unchallenged to make it 2-2.
With 17 minutes left on the clock, Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba pulled out Mpho Makola for William Twala as the visitors looked to snatch a late winner.
Bafana defender Thulani Hlatshwayo was well positioned to make an acrobatic clearance in stoppage time and ultimately, the match ended in a 2-2 draw.
South Africa will now host Cameroon at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in the return leg on Tuesday night.
FOLLOW NEW AFRICA BUSINESS NEWS ON FACEBOOK @ New Africa Business News.com