JOHANNESBURG: South Africa stretched an unbeaten run to a record 16 matches on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) with a 3-1 friendly international victory over Guinea-Bissau in Durban.
Kermit Erasmus and Andile Jali converted penalties and Percy Tau scored on debut for Bafana Bafana (“The Boys”) at a wet and windy Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Djalo “Aldair” Balde scored for Guinea-Bissau, whose qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations ranks among the greatest shocks in the 60-year competition.
The South African unbeaten streak began in October 2015 with a victory in Angola and includes nine victories and seven draws and a 31-14 goal tally.
Between 1994 and 1996, South Africa went unbeaten in 15 matches before losing a Cup of Nations group game to Egypt in Soweto.
Erasmus scored on 36 minutes and Tau on 69 minutes before “Aldair” set up a tense finish by halving the deficit 12 minutes from time.
Substitute Jali netted a minute from time to put beyond doubt the outcome of the first meeting between South Africa and Guinea-Bissau.
The west African “Wild Dogs”, who held hosts Gabon and lost narrowly to eventual champions Cameroon in their Cup of Nations debut, rarely play friendlies due to scarce financial resources.
Brazilian Roberto “Beto” Bianchi made a disappointing debut as Angola coach with an own-goal sealing a 2-0 defeat by Mozambique in Maputo.
Clesio Bauque put the Mambas (“Snakes”) ahead on 57 minutes and Herenilson conceded the own-goal 17 minutes from time.
Angola, who competed at the 2006 World Cup in Germany but are now ranked 45th of 54 African football nations, play South Africa Tuesday in East London.
Belgium-based Mbwana Samatta from Europa League quarter-finalists Genk struck early and late goals to secure Tanzania a 2-0 win over Botswana in Dar es Salaam.