Despite creating plenty of scoring opportunities, South Africa failed to capitalise as they played to a 0-0 draw against Gambia in their Group M 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

Both struggled to retain possession in the beginning, but it was Raoul Savoy?s men who dictated terms in the opening stages as Demba Savage received a free-kick in the third minute after he was fouled but their attempt went off Itumeleng Khune?s posts.

Bafana Bafana started to settle down in the fifth minute and Thulani Serero?s shot sailed wide after partnering well with May Mahlangu and Andile Jali in the heart of the park, seconds later, a follow up shot by Thabo Matlaba was blocked from a great pass by Thamsanqa Gabhuza.

In the 16th minute, Bafana kept Gambia in their own half as Ayanda Patosi continued to show his class allowing Serero some space but Oupa Manyisa?s shot went straight to Modou Jobe.

The Belgian-based Patosi continued to dominate and he unleashed a beautiful set-piece which deceived Jobe, who almost fumbled into his own net.

After 30 minutes of play, Mahlangu pushed forward as time was slowly ticking against the hosts in search of an opener and four minutes later, Mashaba replaced Manyisa, who was a bit uncomfortable, with Mandla Masango.

In the last five minutes, a brilliant interchange of passes between Serero, Patosi and Gabuza saw Matlaba?s shot straight to Jobe?s hands as both sides head to the tunnel with no goals to show for it.

With 10 minutes into the second stanza, Gabuza saw his attempt failing to hit the target in the box only going over the bar.

Poor decision making continued to let down Mashaba?s men especially when they entered the box as they failed to shoot and sometimes passed the ball when it was time to unleash a shot.

Gambia threatened seconds after Serero was replaced by Phumlani Ntshangase and their attempt was collected easily by Khune, who had been a spectator in the second-half.

However, in the 75th minute, Matlaba received a pass from the right unmarked in the box, his shot was saved by Jobe to the path of oncoming Phala who sent it to straight to the keeper.

Bafana were all over their counterparts when Matlaba received another pass in the box but he blazed wildly over the bar despite being in a great position after Masango and Siphelele Ntshangase combined well.

With two minutes to go, Ntshangase managed to break free using his silky skill but he failed to beat Jobe after playing a fantastic one-two with Mahlangu which meant both teams went home sharing a point.

South Africa: 0

Gambia: 0

South Africa: Khune, Ngcongca, Coetzee, Hlatshwayo, Matlaba, Jali, Mahlangu, Serero (Ntshangase 65?), Manyisa (Masango 38?), Patosi, Gabuza (Phala 70?)

Gambia: Jobe, Jammeh, Marreh, Savage (Mansally 64?), Jagne, Barrow, Colley, Sohna, Dibba, Nyassi (Hamza 79?), Koli (Ceesay 53?)


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