South Africa completed their Central American tour by playing to a 1-1 draw with Honduras at the Metropolitano Stadium in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday morning.
Following after an impressive 1-0 win over Costa Rica last Friday, the match against ‘Los Catrachos’ saw Bafana Bafana claim an early lead through Erick Mathoho, only to quickly relinquish the advantage.
Bafana Bafana opened the scoring in the eighth minute through defender Erick Mathoho, who met Jabulani Shongwe’s corner kick and directed a header past the left-hand of goalkeeper Noel Valladares at the near post.
Yet the visitors’ lead lasted just five minutes – Carlos Discua cut inside from the right flank and sent a curling shot toward the top corner which goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune could only palm away, allowing Erick Andino to level the game with a header into the unguarded net.
Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba was clearly unhappy with his defence early in the game, replacing left-back Mosa Lebusa (who appeared uninjured) with Clayton Daniels as early as the 17th minute.
Shortly thereafter Discua was again a thorn in the side of the South African defence, turning past two players before setting up Oliver Morazán, who was unmarked but struck his acrobatic attempt at a volley just wide of the target.
Mashaba was forced into a second early change just past the midway point of the first half when Sibusiso Vilakazi replaced Thulani Serero, who was stretchered off with injury.
In the 34th minute Bafana had a stroke of luck when Rubilio Castillo ran onto a ball over the top of defence and lobbed the ball toward goal, only to be taken out by Khune. Mathoho was able to clear the ball before it threatened the target, while no penalty was awarded for what looked a clear foul by the ‘keeper.
In the second half Honduras continued to look the stronger team and dominated ball possession, forcing South Africa onto the back foot. However, Shakes Mashaba’s side was able to hold out and nearly stole the win late on when Vilakazi hit the upright.
Bafana Bafana’s locally-based squad will be in action this weekend when they face Angola in the first leg of their final round qualifier for the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN), while the road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia begins next month against the same opponents.
Honduras (1) 1 (Andino 13’)
South Africa (1) 1 (Mathoho 8’)